Toothaches can develop for a variety of reasons, and some of those reasons may lead to the need for a root canal. When the nerve of the tooth becomes decayed or the pulp becomes infected, a root canal is usually performed.
Root canal therapy is a highly successful alternative to tooth extraction. During a root canal diseased tissue is removed, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth.
Typical root canal therapy involves one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown. Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original.