Root canals may have a negative reputation. However, this bad rap usually comes because of the severe toothache a patient might have. The treatment that remedies the toothache is then associated with the bad experience. Generally, root canal treatment is not bad. The area with the problem is “numbed” and the inside of the “sick” tooth is cleaned out. All of the original pulp tissue inside the tooth and what remains of the dead or dying pulp tissue is completely cleaned out. The pulp chamber area is then thoroughly cleaned, shaped, and disinfected. The pulp chamber is then filled and sealed with a special material that allows the tooth to remain in the mouth but the tooth is no longer “alive”. Most root canal treated teeth have a very good prognosis.
Back teeth that have received a root canal treatment should be restored with a crown, which holds the tooth securely so that it cannot fracture. Front teeth may or may not need a crown because the biting force is less in front. Root canal treated teeth can become more brittle.
Usually, a person is better off to save a tooth rather than to extract it and replace it in some way. We are happy to thoroughly explain your options. In some cases, if decay has severely jeopardized the remaining tooth , the bone support is lacking ,or some other reasons, extracting the tooth may be the best treatment.
Root canal treatment usually requires 1 or 2 appointments and the subsequent crown requires two additional appointments.