Save your tooth, it's worth it Most people hear the word root canal and they immediately recoil, evoking images of pain and discomfort. But the truth of the matter is, a root canal can save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many people think removing a problem tooth is the solution, but what you may not realize is extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. Root canal therapy is used in severe cases when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections. Reasons for root canal therapy There are a number of things that signify root canal treatment is necessary. They are: An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.Sensitivity to hot and cold.Severe toothache pain.Swelling and/or tenderness.Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.Injury or trauma to the tooth. What does root canal therapy involve? Root canal treatment done by Dr. Khullar, consists of a number of steps, taking place over several office visits, depending on the severity of the situation. The steps are: First of all, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the top (crown) of a molar or pre-molar.After the affected or diseased pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled.If you need to come back for subsequent treatments, a temporary filling is placed in the opening to shield the tooth between dental visits.The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled.During the last step, a crown is generally placed over the tooth to reinstate its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is really broken down, a post might be used to build up the area, before a crown is placed. How long will a restored tooth last? With proper care and maintenance, your treated tooth can last a lifetime. Excellent at-home oral hygiene and regular dental exams with Dentalways are necessary to stop further problems, because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth. To determine the success of root canal treatment is determined by comparing new X-rays with those taken prior to treatment. This comparison will indicate whether bone continues to be lost or is being regenerated. With you every step of the way Family dentist Dr. Khullar understands root canal treatment can leave some people uncertain, doubtful and filled with questions. That's why it's our promise that you'll be advised and consulted with, every step of the way. Each treatment and procedure will be fully explained and any lasting questions and doubts will be fully disclosed and answered. We are committed to your oral health and we're committed to full communication. There is nothing to fear and only a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth ahead.