A Word From Dental Assistant Carolyn: Root Canal Treatment
Sometimes a toothache means that the nerve of the tooth has become infected. Often this means the only way to treat your tooth is with a root canal. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured nerves were removed. However, if the bone around the tooth is in good shape and there is a tooth on the opposite arch that bites against the infected tooth, the best option is to save your natural tooth with a root canal treatment.
Endodontic – or root canal – treatment involves removing the dead or dying nerve from the canal of the tooth. The canal is then treated to clean and sterilize it and then sealed with special material. A build-up filling is placed to cover the opening made to access the root canal. Because the blood supply to the tooth is now gone, a gold or porcelain crown is recommended to keep the tooth from breaking.
Root canals unjustly have a bad reputation. Usually completed in one visit, most patients have no discomfort or only need one or two ibuprofen afterward. The best plan of action when your tooth hurts is to get to the dentist as quickly as possible. Many times a filling is all that is required. But if your dentist feels a root canal is the best treatment, don’t panic! We have had many patients remark that if they’d known how easy it would be they would not have endured the pain for so long.