Root Canal Treatments

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity reaches all the way to this pulp (or the pulp becomes non-vital due to trauma).  Once the pulp (nerve) becomes infected, it can extend through the root to it's tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone ( abscess). Once infected, nerve must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. Abscesses present due to tooth infection can even weaken the entire immune system. These infections can be dangerous and painful. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until an exam and x-rays show the infection.

A root canal is essentially cleaning out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfecting and filling the canal where the nerve resided. Once completed, the tooth can be restored. Usually, a core build-up and crown are recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy, however, this isn't always the case.  If a root canal is not possible for a tooth that has had its nerve compromised, extraction is the only remaining viable option.