Purpose of Root Canal Treatment
A root canal treatment is done when the pulp of a tooth has become infected or inflamed beyond the point of recovery. At this point, a root canal treatment is the only way to save your tooth.
Other than saving your tooth, the purpose of a root canal treatment is to prevent the infection from spreading. An infection that spreads can damage other teeth, other tissues in the mouth, and can even prove to be fatal if it spreads throughout the body. The only other option that you have to prevent the infection from spreading is to have it extracted and replaced with a bridge or a dental implant. When given the choice, though, it is always better to save your natural tooth.
During a root canal procedure, the dentist will actually remove the pulp from the inside of your tooth. This is done by first removing the decay and drilling an access hole through the crown of your tooth. The dentist will then use special tools to remove the diseased pulp. Once the pulp has been removed, the root canals will be flushed and cleaned. At this point, antibiotics may be administered if an infection is present. The dentist will then fill the tooth with a rubberlike substance called gutta percha. The tooth will then be restored using a dental crown. If the tooth is especially weak after treatment, a metal post may be inserted for added support before the dental crown is placed. A root canal treatment is done over the course of one to three visits to the dentist.
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