Teeth are made up of living tissue. Inside the tooth you will find nerve and blood vessels that sometimes get infected by bacteria. Infections are usually the result of decay or trauma to the tooth. Historically we have treated a tooth abscess with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy is treatment in which the nerve and blood vessels inside the tooth are removed, essentially making it a non-living, pain-free tooth that can no longer harbour disease and infection. The inside of the tooth is filled with gutta percha, a rubbery type of material that is easily accepted by the body.
After root canal therapy the tooth remains a healthy part of the dentition; however, much more brittle and fragile now that the living tissue of the tooth has been removed. A ceramic crown is recommended following root canal therapy to protect the tooth from increased probability of fracture.
Root canal is a long standing proven treatment for saving teeth. Reality is that not every tooth can be saved due to many factors such as root fracture, advanced decay, extensive trauma or gum and bone disease. Dental implants are the ultimate solution for restoring areas of tooth loss that can last a lifetime.