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What is a Root Canal?
Root canal (endodontic) treatment refers to a procedure performed to address a permanently damaged or dead (necrotic) nerve to a tooth. Irreversible inflammation or nerve death can occur as a result of tooth decay, trauma, fracture or following certain dental procedures. Each situation is unique. In some instances, a patient may present with a toothache while in others instances, a patient may be entirely asymptomatic (pain-free). Root canal (endodontic) treatment is performed to save the tooth that would otherwise require extraction. Not all teeth are candidates for root canal therapy and a comprehensive analysis is needed to define the tooth’s medium and long-term viability.
Root canal treatment consists of creating access through the tooth crown to remove the nerve, clean the nerve system and thereafter, seal the space. As all treatment is performed with local anesthesia, you should not experience discomfort. Dependent upon the specific tooth-nerve anatomy, you may be referred to a root canal specialist, an endodontist. Following root canal given that not merely the tooth nerve, but blood supply has been removed, the tooth root is then more brittle and susceptible to fracture. A crown is typically required to protect the tooth from fracture. Root canal treated teeth require clinical evaluation at recall visits along with the taking of x-rays to ensure its continued success. As with every aspect of dentistry and life, root canal treated teeth require professional monitoring and maintenance.
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