The ultimate purpose of a root canal is to save a natural tooth. Root canals stop an infection that could otherwise lead to the loss of your natural tooth and the necessity for a tooth replacement, like a dental implant.
Inside your tooth is an inner chamber that houses the tooth pulp. The pulp contains connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves, and it extends through the tooth root canals. When the pulp becomes infected, an abscess can form at the tooth’s root tip.
The tooth pulp can become infected from:
- A crack or chip in the tooth
- Trauma to the tooth that causes a fracture
- Repeated dental procedures, such as large fillings
To stop the infection and allow you to keep the natural tooth, general dentists and endodontists treat the root canal by drilling a hole in the crown of the tooth; the decayed pulp is then removed through the hole and the infection is allowed to heal. The cleaned out tooth is then filled and sealed to prevent future decay.
Some patients choose to repair the lost structure of the tooth with a restoration like a tooth crown. After root canal treatment, the structural integrity of the tooth is weakened, which may lead to fractures later on. A tooth crown protects the tooth from cracking and effectively stabilizes and seals the tooth.
For root canal treatment in Northern Virginia, general dentists Joseph Oh and Chong Lee provide skilled treatment, as well as porcelain crowns. Please contact Galleria Dental Aesthetics to schedule a consultation.