Root Canal Treatment
Endodontic (or root canal) treatment is necessary
when the pulp (the soft tissue inside the root canal), becomes inflamed
or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes:
deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip
in the tooth. In addition, an injury 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.
to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold,
tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and
swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes
as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues.
In some cases there are no apparent symptoms.
specialize in saving natural teeth and in performing root canals. The
top diagram shows a healthy molar tooth; the lower diagram shows an
abscessed tooth with a collection of infected material or pus. An
abscess can occur when the pulp (the soft tissue inside the root canal),
becomes inflamed or infected and goes untreated.
How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and
shapes the inside of the canal (a channel inside the root), then fills
and seals the space. Afterward, you will return to your dentist, who
will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and
restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to
function like any other tooth.