Removal used to be the only option for a tooth that had diseased or injured pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth). Now, root canal therapy is the treatment of choice to cure such infections and save the tooth. By preserving the tooth, root canal therapy can prevent the problems to adjacent teeth that extraction (tooth pulling) can cause, helping maintain dental health and saving money in the long run.
Modern root canal therapy can usually be performed with little or no discomfort. By removing inflamed or damaged tissue, a root canal procedure can put an end to pain and help prevent serious complications such as jaw infections.
During a root canal, the pulp and nerves of the tooth, as well as bacteria and any decay, are removed. The resulting cavity is sealed off with material that prevents bacteria from reentering the tooth. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “pulpectomy.”
Root canal therapy is highly successful and usually lasts for the life of the tooth. It is rare, but additional treatment is occasionally necessary.
Indications that root canal therapy may be necessary:
- Severe toothache
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay is affecting the tooth’s pulp.
- An abscess or infection has developed at the root tip or inside the tooth.
- Injury or trauma has caused the pulp to die, risking infection.
To schedule a consultation or learn more about the many procedures we offer, please contact us at our Lexington, MA office today!