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Teeth are live organs so they have blood vessels and nerve supply just like your fingers and nails. These nerve and blood vessels are called dental pulp and it is protected in the middle of each tooth in a space called a root canal. As the bacteria from a decayed tooth advances inside the tooth it can cause the pulp to become infected and inflamed. People experience toothache or an abscess when this infection has advanced inside the pulp and the tooth is no longer able to recover from the infection. Root canal treatment is carried out to remove the dead and infected pulp but prolong the physical presence of the tooth so that it does not need to be pulled out.
There can be a number of reasons for pulp becoming diseased:
Root canal treatment usually requires more than one visit to complete. The first visit involves drilling a hole through the top of the tooth to access the root canal, remove the diseased pulp, disinfect the root canal, and place an antibiotic medication then seal with a temporary filling. One or more subsequent visits are usually required to further shape and clean the root canal before a final visit to fill the root canal space. If an infection persists, antibiotics are sometimes prescribed or our dentist may advise you to see a root canal specialist.
Teeth that are no longer alive but have had a root canal treatment become progressively weaker over time. This makes the final restoration of the tooth very important. If the tooth isn’t properly restored, bacteria can enter again and cause another infection or the tooth can break and become unsavable. Sometimes a crown is recommended to strengthen and seal the tooth properly.
Our dentist will assess the complexity of the root canal treatment for your tooth and advise if an endodontic specialist is best to increase treatment success.
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