When the nerve of your tooth becomes infected, a successful root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than having to pull it out. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving a natural tooth avoids having to replace it with an artificial tooth.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your tooth grow and develop. Your dentist may notice the infection from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.
How is a root canal treatment done at Clarity Dental?
A root canal treatment can ease or prevent pain, and save your tooth. The treatment is straightforward in these steps:
Step 1: A rubber dam is placed to protect your open tooth from bacteria during the root canal.
Step 2: You may receive an anesthetic if needed.
Step 3: The dentist makes a small opening to reach the pulp and root canal.
Step 4: The dentist removes the damaged pulp and cleans the root canal system.
Step 5: The root canal is filled and sealed with a rubber-like compound.
Step 6: The dentist finishes by sealing your tooth with a filling.
What else should I know?
Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Bad pain or swelling are NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist or endodontist. You can still get a cavity or gum disease after a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as your other teeth. Most of the time, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled).
Root canal retreatment
Most root canal treatments are successful. But in some rare cases, a second root canal treatment is needed. This is called retreatment. When retreating a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out, and the canal is recleaned, reshaped and refilled.
Root Canal Surgery
Sometimes root canal surgery is needed when a regular root canal treatment cannot be done or when it has not worked. Surgery is done to:
- Check the end of the root for fractures (cracks).
- Remove parts of the root that could not be cleaned during regular root canal treatment.
- Clear up an infection that did not heal after regular treatment.