A root canal treatment is a procedure that replaces a tooth’s internal nerve structure with a specialized filling material in order to treat the following cases:
- an infected tooth (as evident by x-ray and exam),
- a tooth with decay so deep that infection is inevitable (as a filling in these cases will only cause painful symptoms and likely infection in the near future), or
- a painful tooth with irreversible pulpal/nerve damage (usually due to decay or trauma).
In some cases, the patient may be referred to a collaborating endodontist (a dentist specializing in these procedures) and will be determined on a case-by-case basis by Dr. Hughes based on what’s best for her patient.
It should be noted that a large permanent filling (called a core build-up) and a crown are usually indicated following root canal therapy. See our “Crowns” tab to learn more about this procedure.