Endodontics or Root Canal
Endodontic therapy (root canal) is a treatment that we do here at our Dental Clinic in Birmingham, AL that will save diseased or injured teeth. The alternative to endodontics is extraction (tooth removal). Typically, a severely decayed tooth or a tooth with a large filling that may need Endodontics will begin to ache. The pain might be intermittent at first and over time progress to a constant dull throbbing pain or a severe ache that might be felt on all the teeth on the affected side. Sometimes there is no pain and an abscess might be discovered on a routine x-ray or oral exam.
The pulp or center of the tooth, is soft tissue that is located inside the tooth. It contains nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph tissue. This pulp is actually inside the tooth in small canals or tunnels inside the roots. This is what can get infected due to a deep cavity, large leaking filling or trauma. If infected pulp is left untreated, the pulp will die and become necrotic. Infection can build up at the tip of the root forming an abscess that can actually destroy the bone that is holding your tooth in it’s place. These abscesses can become very dangerous if left untreated, and can spread rapidly. Endodontic treatment or a root canal is simply the removal of this pulp tissue that has gone bad, and allows your body to repair and replace any destroyed bone under the tooth.
Restoring the tooth after Endodontics
Following the completion of the root canal, the tooth will need to be restored. Most times due to the amount of tooth structure removed, a crown is recommended as the final restoration, although depending on where the tooth is located in your mouth, atooth colored filling might work for the restoration. Sometimes a post may have to be cemented into the canal of the tooth to add structural support before a crown can be placed. Our Dentist, Dr. Stuart Curry will explain all the options and what your specific tooth may need.