If decay or damage reached the pulp of the tooth, root canal therapy is used to save the tooth in order to avoid the need for an extraction. Root canals are necessary as infection can quickly spread to other teeth or cause the death of a tooth.
Sources of Infection
A tooth becomes infected when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth, is exposed to bacteria due to damage such as tooth decay or injury. Left untreated, infection can spread into the soft tissues surrounding the root, causing an abscess. Abscesses are painful and can lead to tooth loss if ignored.
How Root Canal Therapy Saves Teeth
Root canal therapy saves a tooth by removing the infected pulp and preventing future infections.
In the root canal procedure, a small hole is drilled in the tooth and the pulp is removed. We then clean the inside of the tooth and seal it off. Teeth are then restored with a filling, crown, or inlay.
Pain and Post-Operative Care
Root canals are completed under a local anesthetic so it is painless. You may experience soreness in the area after your treatment.
After your therapy you should chew your food on the other side of your mouth from the area where the root canal was performed. We will also prescribe antibiotics to remove any remaining traces of the infection.