Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure in which the diseased or damaged nerve of a tooth is removed so that the tooth can be saved or restored. We do everything we can to make this as painless as possible. A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbone, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, the dentist removes the affected tissue, cleans out the canals through use of files and rotary systems. The canals are sterilized, and filled or sealed with a material known as gutta percha and cement. Once the root canal procedure is complete, it is essential that the tooth be properly restored or the root canal will become re-infected and the treatment will ultimately fail. A full coverage crown is typically recommended to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.