Why would I need a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons.
Cavities that are left untreated will eventually lead to pulp infections. The decay destroys the enamel and dentin of the tooth until it reaches the pulp where bacteria infect it. The inflammation caused by this infection reduces the blood supply to the tooth, preventing the pulp from healing. Since antibiotics can’t cure infections inside teeth, the only option to save your tooth would be having a root canal treatment to remove the infected nerves and protect it with a crown.
Damage to the pulp that can’t be cured
A fracture or oral trauma to a tooth can damage the pulp even if there is no apparent damage to the tooth structure. Multiple fillings or other restorative procedures on the tooth can also cause damage to the pulp. For instance, if a tooth is drilled too close to the pulp while the dentist tries to clean up deep decay, it could irritate the nerves and trigger pain. The tooth will then need a root canal to reduce pain and save the tooth. When the pulp is inflamed but not infected, it may heal on its own. Dr. Lee may want to see if this will happen before proceeding with the root canal treatment. If the pulp remains inflamed, it can be painful and may lead to an infection. An infection in the pulp can affect the bone around the tooth. This can cause an abscess to form. The goal of root canal treatment is to save the tooth by removing the infected pulp, treating any infection, and filling the empty root canals with a material called gutta percha.