Root Canal Therapy

Can protect and save a sick or dying tooth.

The problem:
  • Infected or sick tooth due to decay or injury
  • Chronic tooth pain from contact with hot and cold liquids
  • Pain from pressure or biting down
  • Danger of infection spreading

The solution:
Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that contains the nerve of the tooth. The nerve travels from the jaw to the center of the tooth though tiny tubes called the root canal. This is why it is called Root Canal Therapy. When the pulp becomes infected or inflammed due to decay or injury to the tooth, the nerve must be removed from the the tooth and the canals of each root. Once the infected pulp is removed, the remaining chamber is filled with a clean, rubber-based material to seal the root canals.
Most all teeth that have had root canal therapy must be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering called a “crown” or a
“cap” (see crown section.) This is because teeth that have had a root canal are at increased risk of fracture.

Advantages:
Root canal therapy is a great way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted

Disadvantages:
There is no major disadvantage if a crown is done within a reasonable amount of time. On rare occasions a root canal therapy can “fail” which can necessitate a re-treatment of the canals. In this instance sometimes an extraction, bone graft, and Implant are recommended.

Alternatives:
If a patient chooses not the have root canal therapy, the alternative treatment is to remove the tooth. In some circumstances, if root canal therapy is not right for a badly broken tooth, an implant or a bridge may be the best treatment. It is always a good idea to save or replace a tooth to prevent a domino effect of problems that can effect remaining teeth.