Root canal (or endodontic) therapy is used to treat with infected pulp and root canals. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root, and contains nerve endings and tissues. Infection of the pulp and roots canals may result in pain and swelling. Root canal therapy removes damaged and infected tissues. Once completed, the tooth may be restored by placing a cap (crown). This reduces the incidence of tooth fractures and restores the esthetics of a discoloured tooth.
Some patients associate root canal treatment with pain and discomfort. Local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made this treatment more tolerable, often no less comfortable than getting a standard filling.
You may be a candidate for root canal treatment if decay or damage has allowed bacteria to infect the pulp of your tooth. Root canal treatment may also be suitable if you prefer to preserve your natural teeth. Find out if this treatment will address your needs by scheduling an exam at your earliest convenience. There are many practical reasons for saving your teeth.
The first step in your treatment will involve applying local anesthetic. Once your tooth root is numb, the dentist will remove the diseased pulp. The root canals will then be cleaned, sealed and filled.
Due to inflammation around the roots, there may be sensitivity for the first several days following treatment. This can be managed by over-the-counter medications. Do resume normal brushing and flossing. However, avoid chewing with the treated tooth until a permanent restoration or crown has been placed.