Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure to treat infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system). Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may damage the nerve to the point where it needs Root Canal Therapy. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful.
Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot or cold food, sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A Root Canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had Root Canal Therapy.