When the nerve of a tooth becomes damaged by extensive decay or trauma, a root canal is needed. Prior to seeking treatment, the patient may experience a spontaneous toothache accompanied by an intraoral abscess or facial swelling. It is important to understand that an infected tooth will not resolve itself. Depending on your tooth’s condition, antibiotics may be recommended. More importantly root canal treatment is required to restore the patient to optimum health and to eliminate pain. For this procedure, the doctor will locally anesthetize the area being treated. All decay will be removed and a small access will be created, allowing the doctor to remove all infectious material and necrotic nerve tissue from within the canal space.
Once cleaned and irrigated, a special material will be placed within the canal, sealing off bacteria from re-entering the root of the tooth. A permanent restoration will be placed, and the tooth will often be prepared and shaped for a crown. A crown will prolong the life of the tooth, protecting the patient’s investment, and allowing the patient’s tooth to return to normal esthetics and function.