When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or abscessed due to decay, a crack or trauma, Root Canal Therapy (RCT) may be recommended. The infected nerve is removed and replaced with a filling substance called gutta percha or a more biocompatable material for some individuals, calcium hydroxide. The now brittle tooth is often crowned. The only other alternative for an infected tooth is extraction.
There has been much confusion and anxiety about root canals. Even though RCT may allow you to keep your tooth for quite some time, is this the best treatment for you? In a root canal-treated tooth, most of the nerve is removed; however, countless minute tubules leading from the central nerve canal remain untreated. When you consider that the average tooth contains over three miles of these tubules, you can see that it is impossible to reach and clean them all! Debris collects, excess tissue putrefies and becomes infected, and bacteria flourish. The result may be a chronic challenge to an already compromised immune system. If you have questions about whether RCT is appropriate in your situation, please talk to one of our dentists. Every infected tooth needs to be evaluated individually.