Treating Root Canals to Fight Tooth Infection

Tooth decay – the tooth infection that causes cavities – occurs in stages. Mild to moderate decay, for instance, is typically confined to the crown of your tooth, and can therefore be treated with a minimally invasive tooth filling. More severe decay, however, may spread to the sensitive pulp chamber at the center of your tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. In such cases of internal tooth decay, a filling may not suffice, and your dentist may recommend root canal therapy, instead. Unlike a filling, root canal therapy focuses on removing infection from inside of your tooth and restoring the pulp and the root canal connected to it. If your dentist recommends root canal therapy, then it may be your last opportunity to save the tooth before it becomes too compromised to save and requires extraction.

What to Expect from Root Canal Therapy

The goal of root canal therapy is the same as a tooth filling, and therefore your procedure also requires carefully cleaning away infection from your healthy tooth structure. The difference is that root canal treatment involves cleaning out the pulp chamber and the root canal that extends into your jawbone. For optimal comfort, your dentist may recommend an appropriate form of dental sedation to help you remain calm and relaxed during your procedure. After removing the infection and restoring your tooth’s inner structures, the intense tooth pain associated with the infection will finally be gone. For improved protection after your procedure, your dentist may also recommend placing a dental crown over the tooth to strengthen its remaining structure.