Root Canal Treatment
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were usually removed. But today, a tooth can often be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment.
What happens if the dental pulp is injured?
The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, treatment is needed. The most common causes of pulp inflammation or infection are a cracked or chipped tooth, a deep cavity or filling, or other serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter the pulp.
Why should the pulp be removed?
If damaged or infected pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected. Pain and swelling often result. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that holds the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be removed.
What are the steps involved?
The decay is removed and an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned and shaped. The root canals and pulp chamber are filled.
A metal or resin pin or post may be placed in the root canal to help retain the core (filling) material, which supports the restoration (crown).
The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling.