Root Canal Treatment
What is root canal treatment
A root canal treatment is done when a tooth is badly damaged by decay to the extent that the nerves in the pulp are infected and causing pain. By removing the contents (nerves and blood vessels of the pulp), the tooth is rendered 'dead' or non vital and infection is controlled. But a dead tooth is brittle with time and would require a crown to strengthen it.
Steps in a root canal treatment
The tooth is accessed and the pulp in the pulp chamber and the root canals are removed.
Xrays are used to determine its proper length to the apices of the roots, the canal walls are carefully filed and rinsed with disinfecting solution and the tooth is dressed with antiseptic. Tooth is temporarily filled
When there are no more signs and symptoms, the root canals are filled with inert gutta percha and the pulp chamber and tooth filled as well with a strong filling. A crown would be recommended.
When is root canal treatment not recommended
When there is poor prognosis such as the margin of the filling is way below the gums and maintenance is an issue. The crown would leak with time and the tooth would become weakened or infected again . In this case, an earlier diagnosis and decision to remove it is wiser. Discuss with the dentist the various options of replacing the tooth.
A root canal that is properly filled can also fail with time due to flare-ups because of re-infection or cracks developing in the roots.