Root canal therapy (RCT) is the procedure that probably has the worst reputation in the field of dentistry. The reality, however, is that root canals relieve the sometimes severe pain caused by dead or dying teeth. A dead or dying tooth can be painful in a variety of ways including severe temperature sensitivity and severe biting sensitivity. Relieving this pain via RCT allows patients to get back to their busy lives pain free as soon as possible.
Dead or dying teeth are not only painful, but also present a risk for potentially dangerous dental infections. If left untreated, these infections can be dangerous to all of the important structures in the head and neck. An antibiotic is often used to help fight against these infections, but an antibiotic doesn’t treat the source of the infection inside the tooth. The only treatment proven effective in completely eliminating these infections is root canal therapy.
During the procedure, Dr. Romenesko opens the tooth to access the dead or dying nerve tissue. The doctor then cleans this tissue out with specific medication and instrumentation. Once the nerve canal is clean and properly shaped, Dr. Romenesko then fills this space with a biologically inert material. This material fills in all the spaces, preventing bacteria from causing infection without damaging the structures surrounding the tooth.
In the majority of cases, a tooth with a root canal requires a crown to cover and protect the tooth. A crown is necessary because the process of a root canal can weaken the tooth and make it more prone to fracture. By covering the tooth with a crown, the risk of fracture is greatly reduced and the tooth can be used normally.
Please ask us if you have any questions about root canals!