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Dr. John Werksman D.D.S. | Dr. Charles Lovinger D.D.S. | Dr. Kathleen Wu D.D.S.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or injured. Without endodontic treatment the tooth’s nerves die. In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with root canal treatment, you may save that tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp. Bacteria can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. An abscess causes the pulp tissue to die. When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jawbones and your overall health. Again, without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Root canal treatment occurs in three stages: First comes the diagnosis. Next comes the root canal itself, in which Dr. Kahal or Dr. White removes the pulp (and thereby also the infection), and cleans the inside of the tooth preparatory to filling it, sometimes applying antibiotics to thwart further infection. A temporary filling is placed at the crown opening. Finally, in a subsequent appointment, a crown is installed to seal the tooth and protect it from further damage or infection.
Most of the time a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort. Excellent oral hygiene after your root canal can help ensure success and prevent reinfection. To learn more about this procedure or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.