Root Canal Therapy
This is necessary when bacteria have gotten into the pulp of the tooth. This can happen from a deep cavity or from trauma to the tooth. Sometimes a toothache or abscess may occur. The nerve cannot be saved but often the tooth can if the canal is cleaned out and a material is placed to seal the canal from bacteria. Often because so much tooth structure is missing due the cavity and access for the root canal treatment, these teeth also require a buildup and a crown to be placed. It is important to seal the canal from reintroduction of bacteria.
Root canal treatment can be much more comfortable that in the past. New instruments and materials have made the procedure more predictable and take less time, however, sometimes the procedure will still take two appointments depending on the various conditions within the tooth. Further, root canals do not have a 100% success rate, and sometimes, even years later, a root canal must be redone or other surgical options can be considered. Alternatives are extraction followed by a bridge or an implant.
Some teeth have very curved or multiple canals, and Dr. Rupert will often refer these more difficult cases to a root canal expert, the endodontist.