A root canal procedure is required when the nerve tissue (pulp) is contaminated, or becomes damaged. This allows bacteria to multiply in the pulp chamber which causes an infection or abscessed tooth. This puss filled pocket forms at the end of the tooth root causing discomfort, tingling, sensitivity and even pain. For some patients though, they experience no symptoms. However, if left untreated the infection can enter the blood stream creating serious health complications. Root Canals are an alternative method in some cases to save a tooth instead of performing extractions.
- Some ways a tooth can become infected requiring a Root Canal:
- The tooth’s nerve and pulp are inflamed or irritated.
- Deep decay from a cavity that has reached the pulp or large fillings.
- Repeat dental procedures on a single tooth.
- A cracked or chipped tooth.
- Trauma to the tooth from an accident.
- The dentist first makes you comfortable by numbing the tooth in question.
- Next a rubber dam is placed on the tooth to keep it dry and clean.
- An opening is then made in the tooth down to the pulp chamber.
- With the use of dental files the infection is carefully cleaned out.
- X-rays may be used to confirm depths.
- Once cleaned a filling material is placed in the canal.
- Sometimes a tooth may need to be built up with a post and core.
- Making a crown is the final step to restore and strengthen a tooth and is usually done six months later to confirm the root canal has been successful.