- Infected or sick tooth due to decay or injury
- Chronic tooth pain from contact with hot and cold liquids
- Pain from pressure or biting down
- Danger of infection spreading
Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber also known as the root canal that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When the root canal becomes infected due to decay or injury to the tooth, the nerve must be removed from the center of the tooth and the canals of each root. Once the infected nerve is removed, the remaining root canal chamber is filled with a rubber based material to close it off.
Most teeth that have had root canal treatment should be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering known as a crown. This is because teeth that have had the nerve removed are more susceptible to fracture.
Root canal treatment is an excellent way to save a tooth that would otherwise die and need to be removed.
If a tooth is severely decayed, there are no disadvantages to root canal treatment. On rare occasions, however, root canal treatment may need to be redone to ensure that all of the infection has been removed.
The only real alternative is to remove the severely decayed tooth by surgical tooth extraction. After the tooth is extracted a bone graft , sinus lift , a dental implant , a denture or bridge can be used to fill the empty space and prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth.
When a root canal treatment fails the first question is usually "what are my options to replace the tooth?" This question is followed by "how much are dental implants ?" The cost of dental implants is comparable to the total cost to restore the teeth with dental bridge.
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