|Root Canal Therapy
A "root canal," or endodontic therapy, is a procedure available to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise require extraction. There are many reasons that teeth can become infected, including: cavities, previous large fillings, crowns, cracks, trauma and extreme wear.
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (nerve and blood supply), bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with an inert material called gutta percha. After the tooth is healed, getting a crown is recommended, because the tooth will become brittle.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a problematic tooth is the best (and most economical) solution. Extracting, or pulling a tooth, could ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth, as well as causing loss of bone around the extraction site.
While root canal therapy has a high degree of success, it is not 100% guaranteed. It is very important to have a permanent restoration (usually a crown) placed within a few weeks of the root canal. If a permanent restoration is not placed, the tooth can fracture or further decay to the point where the tooth may have to be removed.
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
What Does Root Canal Therapy Involve?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by Dr. Lebed. While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and isolated from the other teeth. A hole will be created at the top of the tooth, and the infected pulp tissue will be cleaned from inside the tooth. A rubber-like material called Gutta Percha and a cement will be applied into the root canal, and a temporary filling will be placed. Once the tooth has healed, then it will be ready to have a permanent crown placed to prevent any further decay or fracturing of the tooth.