Root Canal Treatment
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
How Successful Are Root Canals?
Root canal treatment is highly successful the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.
Also, because the final step of the root canal procedure is the application of a restoration such as a crown or a filling, it will not be obvious to onlookers that a root canal was performed.
Alternatives to a Root Canal
Saving your natural teeth is the best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of food necessary to maintain proper nutrition. A root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives are not only more expensive than a root canal procedure but also require more treatment time and additional procedures for adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.