In cases when the therapy fails, the respective tooth needs to be extracted, to avoid the spread of infection.
The dental pulp can be found within the dentin. The tooth pulp is actually carrying the important tooth nerves, the lymph vessels, and the arteries. Generally, a tooth has got at least one, or maximum four such root canals. In cases of dental fracture or because of a cavity, the dental pulp can become infected.
All the bacteria can easily seep in through the cavity or the fracture, and thus problems can easily arise. When the dental pulp is infected or “damaged” there is an increased blood flow present in the area, and a certain pressure will be formed. Now this pressure cannot be released, so when you bite down, you will feel a sharp pain in that area of the tooth.
Infection can spread extremely easily, and it can even reach the bone which is found around the tooth. Pain will only get worse when there is such an abscess or an infection present, this is why you need root canal therapy. Normally, the tooth would need extraction, but then the neighboring teeth will start to shift and grow crooked, so the dentist will actually try to save your tooth. If the tooth is extracted however, you will need immediately a dental implant or a dental bridge in order to fill in the space and stop bone degeneration.
If possible, it is always much better to go through root anal therapy and try saving your tooth than having it extracted.
Root canal therapy is generally performed by an endodontist, and it will take about 1 to maximum 3 appointments for the treatment to be completed. The infected root canal will be cleansed thoroughly, in order to remove all the diseased tissue. Next the dentist will apply a special medication, which will kill all the bacteria in the area. You will also receive a temporary filling, which will be removed on your next appointment.
The endodontist will check the area to see if there is any sign of the infection left, or if the infection has spread or stopped completely. If everything is in order, the chamber of the pulp and the dental canals will be filled with a special material such as gutta percha fillings. On top of the sealed tooth your dentist will place a crown (such as a porcelain dental crown) in order to strengthen your tooth so that you can chew and bite without any problems.
Root canal therapies are not at all painful as they used to be a few decades ago when there weren’t so many anesthetic types available. You may feel some sort of discomfort or slight pain after the medication is inserted, but that is just normal. Pain and discomfort will generally give up within up to 24-48 hours, if the treatment was successful.