What is a root canal?
When the nerve inside of a tooth is damaged beyond repair (by decay or trauma), it is necessary to remove the nerve. This is done by having a root canal. During this treatment, the infected nerve is removed from the root. This preserves the actual root of the tooth and allows you to keep your natural tooth for years to come. Root canals are nothing to fear. In fact, they can help eliminate pain from a toothache and allow a tooth to function for many years.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
When a tooth becomes severely damaged or decayed, it is often necessary to have a root canal. Moderate to severe tooth pain is often an indication that a root canal will be required. A dental exam, including an x-ray, is the best way for us to determine if a root canal would help you.
What is the procedure to have a root canal?
After ensuring the area is completely numb, the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth are removed using specialized instruments. Once the nerve canal is thoroughly cleansed, it is filled with material called gutta percha. A tooth that has had a root canal will most likely need to have a crown placed in order to protect the tooth from possible fracture. To learn more about crowns, click on the link below.
What if I don’t want a root canal, are there alternative treatments?
Unfortunately, once a tooth has gotten to the point where it needs a root canal, there are not a lot of other options. In cases where a root canal is necessary, but for whatever reason cannot be completed, then removal (extraction) of the tooth is the only other feasible treatment.