Tuyen Q. Bui, D.M.D., M.P.H.
Endodontics: Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy may be necessary if a tooth has been damaged and the pulp is infected. The pulp is the tissue and nerves inside the tooth. Common causes of tooth damage include a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth. These kinds of damages create a pathway for bacteria to enter the tooth, resulting in swelling and pain.
During root canal therapy, the dentist will remove the nerves and clean the canals. A sealant is placed in the canals and a temporary filling may be used until a filling or a crown can be permanently fitted to protect the tooth from further damage. If the tooth is left untreated, it may have to be removed. An implant or a bridge will be necessary to replace the missing tooth in order to avoid difficulty in chewing. A partial denture is another option depending on the number of missing teeth.