Root canal therapy (endodontic care) is a tooth-saving treatment that addresses infections inside teeth. This treatment can prevent the need for surgical removal of a diseased or damaged tooth and often eliminates discomfort and impaired oral function associated with an infected root canal. Patients should exercise caution the days following a root canal. For example, those who have had endodontic treatment should avoid chewing or biting down with their treated tooth. Patients should also maintain flossing and brushing their teeth after treatment. After a root canal, our dentist may place a restoration such as a dental crown or filling.
Why is endodontic care necessary?
Endodontic care is necessary to protect the inside of teeth and prevent a tooth from becoming abscessed. Deep inside a tooth is a hollow area called the root canal where the endings of nerves and vital cellular material are. If a tooth has been broken or is badly decayed, the inside of the tooth is exposed to harmful, infection-causing bacteria. If bacteria reach the root canal, it can inflame and infect the pulp and nerve ending. Not only is this infection dangerous to the health of a tooth, it is often very painful.
Root canal therapy addresses the issue of an infected tooth by removing the nerves and dental pulp, cleaning out the root canal, and sealing it with a rubber-like compound. This procedure is necessary to preserve the tooth and prevent oral health complications.
What are the benefits of root canal treatment?
There are a number of benefits to receiving endodontic care. First, cleaning and sealing an infect root canal means that patients can avoid surgical extraction and keep their biological tooth. Losing a tooth to damage or disease will require prosthetics like bridges or partial dentures in the future. These replacement teeth can be expensive and lead to other health issues such as bone atrophy. Secondly, endodontic therapy will alleviate discomfort caused by an inflamed and infected nerve ending. Since an infected root canal often reduces oral function by causing pain, receiving endodontic treatment will restore a patient’s ability to chew and bite food comfortably.
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