Root canal therapy is a way to remove infected soft tissue inside the tooth (known as the pulp) due to trauma or bacterial decay. Some patients may experience sensitivity to hot, and cold, pain, swelling or no symptoms at all prior to having a root canal.
What to Expect
Root canal therapy consists of removing inflamed or infected pulp from the tooth, filling the spaces with a rubber-like substance that acts as a permanent bandage, and restoring the top, or crown, of the tooth to prevent damage and infection. This procedure is pain free (with the use of local anesthetic) and sedation is available. You may be given pain medication and antibiotics, as the area can be tender for a few days while it heals.
Root canal therapy stops the infection, prevents it from spreading into the bone and causing bone loss, and allows you to keep your natural tooth without pain. Approximately 95% of teeth respond to normal root canal procedures, and with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits the tooth can remain useful and functional just as long as other natural teeth. It is recommended to place a crown on a tooth with a root canal to prevent breakage.