Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is sometimes the only alternative to tooth extraction.
It is indicated in a number of situations:
- deep decay, reaching the dental pulp and the nerve
- a broken tooth that cannot be restored with a filling
- pulp irritated by trauma
- extensive restoration
- a tooth that requires a crown, but also the additional support of a post
Under such conditions, you may also experience pain or develop a dental infection (abscess). Root canal treatment will save your tooth and eliminate the associated discomfort, pain or swelling. It will also let you chew normally and preserve your appearance.
Steps in treatment
General dentists are trained to perform root canals, but may refer more complex cases to an endodontist (root canal specialist), if they result from dental trauma or require certain types of surgery.
Depending on the condition of the pulp, the infection or the patient’s discomfort level, root canal treatment may require several visits to the dentist. The treatment has a relatively high success rate, but because of its delicate nature, some parts of the treatment may have to be repeated if the results prove unsatisfactory.