Have you been told you that you need root canal treatment? If so, you're not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment.
A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.
Causes of an infected pulp could include:
- a deep cavity
- repeated dental procedures
- a cracked or broken tooth
- injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess
How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Contrary to jokes about the matter, modern root canal treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during and after your appointment.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
Normal biting force and sensation
Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime.
If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease.
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile. Call Alpha Dental today with questions or to schedule treatment.