Root canals are an option to save a tooth that is severely infected or decayed.
When a tooth is abscessed or infected, bacteria gets into the tooth causing swelling, redness, pain and discomfort, bone loss, drainage, etc. In some cases, the nerve can be become inflamed and therefore need to be removed from the tooth.
A root canal, or endodontic therapy, is performed to remove the bacteria and infected nerve of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is, then cleaned out, medicated, and sealed. This procedure typically takes one to three visits. A temporary seal will be placed if not completed in one visit.
Once the root canal is completed, the tooth will need to be restored with a crown or some other restoration. Many times a crown is imperative otherwise the tooth can crack. Unfortunately, many times cracked teeth can not be saved.
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are recommended along with regular check-ups to help maintain the status of the root canal and tooth.