Root Canal Treatment
Why You May Need a Root Canal
The nerve of a tooth can die because of cavities or restorations that are either close to, or go into, the nerve (center) of the tooth. Sometimes the nerve can die because of trauma or cracks in the tooth as well.
When the nerve of a tooth dies, your tooth can become painful to cold and hot or when you chew on it. The nerve of the tooth eventually dies, and the infection can spread to the end of the root and into your jawbone. There can sometimes also be facial swelling where antibiotics are needed.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure where your dentist removes the dead or dying nerve and tissue (pulp) from the inside of the tooth. A small hole is made in the top of the tooth to remove the pulp and clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth.
A special material called gutta percha is used to seal the inside of the tooth so that bacteria do not reinfect the tooth later.
Preserving the Tooth
Did you know the number one reason for root canal failure is not the root canal itself? Instead, the reason most teeth that have root canals fail is due to a cavity or a crack.
A root canal weakens the tooth over time. Your dentist will strengthen the tooth by sometimes placing a post into the tooth to help strengthen it. The hole that was made is filled with filling material. A crown is often highly recommended on teeth that have root canals because this will drastically strengthen the tooth.