When the nerve tissue of the tooth has become injured or infected, root canal treatment is performed in an effort to save the tooth from extraction. This treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments- either by the dentist or a referral to a specialist in root canal therapy.
Some important information for during or after root canal therapy
Your tooth may be tender for 1-2 weeks. This is normal.
If only a temporary filling has been placed in the tooth and the temporary is lost- this is not an emergency. Simply contact the office to let us know and we will give instruction.
Intense pain and/or swelling is not common and you should contact the dentist or specialist immediately if this occurs.
A root canal treated tooth is still prone to getting a cavity or gum disease. It is important to maintain a high level of oral hygiene and have the tooth regularly monitored by the dentist.
Depending on the strength of the remaining tooth after root canal treatment, a crown is usually recommended on the tooth, especially a back tooth, as it has to withstand a great deal of force from chewing.
Most root canals are successful, but sometimes a second root canal is needed which is called retreatment. Retreatment involves removal of the root canal filling material and the canals are reshaped and refilled- typically performed by a specialist.
If retreatment can not be performed, root canal surgery is occasionally needed to remove parts of the root that could not be cleaned during regular treatment or to remove parts of the root that are not healing after regular treatment. A specialist performs this surgery.
Due to the large nature of the cavity that infected the nerve, a root canal treated tooth may fracture due to weakened overall structure. If this occurs, unfortunately the only option for the tooth is extraction.