Root Canal Therapy
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Teeth are hard. So it is often difficult for us to think of them as alive like, say, our finger. But they are very much alive and just like fingers, they have nerves in them. In the center of each tooth is a hollow cavity which carries the nerve and blood supply to that tooth. This area of the tooth is called “the pulp”. When this pulp gets infected by decay, trauma, gum disease, fracture or a number of other things, it is irreversible. The only way to treat the tooth is to remove the infected pulp tissue, clean and disinfect the canals of the tooth, shape and fill them with a plastic material called “gutta percha”. Then a temporary filling is placed for a few weeks.
After your root canal procedure is completed, the next step is to place a permanent filling in the tooth which is called a “core”. You may or may not need a “post” in the tooth, which is a small pin that is placed for durability and strength.
A tooth that has had a root canal is a weaker, more brittle tooth. It can break and fracture easier than any other tooth in the mouth. Because of this it is very important to also place a crown (cap) on the tooth to make it a stronger tooth that can function normally in the mouth and can serve you for a long time.
Why do I need a root canal?
You may need a root canal for a number of reasons. Here are a few conditions in which a root canal may be required:
-abscessed tooth (infection)
-large cavity in which the decay has gone into the nerve
-trauma to a tooth.