Protect and keep a sick or dying tooth.
- Infected or sick tooth due to decay or injury
- Chronic tooth pain from contact with hot and cold liquids
- Pain from pressure or biting down
- Danger of infection spreading
Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When the pulp becomes infected due to decay or injury to the tooth, the pulp must be removed from the center of the tooth and the canals of each root. Once the infected pulp is removed and the tooth is deemed bacteria free, the remaining chamber is filled with a rubber-based material to seal it off.
Most teeth that have had root canal therapy must be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering known as a crown (see crown section.) This is because teeth that have had the pulp removed are more susceptible to fracture.
Root canal therapy is an excellent way to save a tooth that would otherwise die and need to be removed. Additionally a tooth that is infected can affect the bodies’ overall health and lead to serious issues if left untreated. Sometimes these issues can even require a visit to the emergency room.
If a tooth is sick, there are no disadvantages to root canal therapy. On rare occasions, however, root canal therapy may need to be redone, better known as a root canal retreat. This retreat is done to ensure that all of the infection has been removed.
The only real alternative is to remove the sick tooth. However, this will require a dental implant or bridge to fill the empty space and prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth. These solutions will ultimately cost more than the root canal therapy, and they will never equal the quality of keeping your natural tooth.