Root Canal Treatments
Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected tooth to avoid removing it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth. Trauma can also cause the nerve of a tooth to be deeply damaged. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, even extending through the root, and it begins to degrade the surrounding bone, which causes an abscess. By the time the pulp is infected, it must be treated because it cannot heal on its own. The body’s entire immune system can weaken, making it very dangerous and painful. Signs and symptoms of an infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot/cold, sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms. A root canal is performed to clean out the infected chambers in the pulp where the blood and nutrition of the tooth is supplied. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further contamination. Because a root canal treatment removes the vital nutrient supply from the tooth, crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth for strength and durability after therapy.