Facts About Root Canal Treatment
What Are the Goals of Root Canal Treatment?
As an alternative to an extraction, the goals of root canal treatment are to save the tooth and allow it to be retained in the mouth for many years in a state of health, function, and comfort. Root canal treatment is directed towards removing diseased tissue from the inside of the tooth and subsequently filling and sealing the root canal space in order to minimize the possibility of future re-infection.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Called Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic is a word composed of two Greek words, "endo" meaning "inside," and "odont" meaning "tooth." Endodontics is that branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases that arise from the soft tissues inside the tooth. These tissues are referred to as the dental pulp and they occupy the root canal space. Thus, endodontic treatment is also called root canal treatment.
If a Tooth Has Had Root Canal Treatment, Is It a Dead Tooth?
Root canal treatment does not kill a tooth. Even though root canal treatment removes the pulp tissue from inside the tooth, the tooth is by no means "dead." Following successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to receive its blood supply and nourishment from the surrounding tissues and the supporting bone. The body's immune system continues to recognize an endodontically treated tooth as viable and healthy, just as it recognizes any other normal non-treated tooth. An endodontically treated tooth generally requires a protective crown and, once this restoration has been completed, the tooth continues to function as an integral component of the dental arch. A tooth that has had root canal treatment and has been properly restored is no more susceptible to fracture, decay, or gum disease than any other tooth.
Alternatives To Root Canal Treatment - The only alternative to root canal treatment is the extraction of the problematic tooth. It is wise to consider all of the implications of losing a tooth before having it removed. The decision should not be made hastily or because the tooth is painful. If pain is present and the dentist thinks that the tooth can be saved, the discomfort can first be relieved and then the alternatives explored.