When teeth are subjected to decay, repeated fillings, fracture, or trauma, the pulp (nerve and blood supply) can be injured. This may cause increased sensitivity to temperature or chewing and can lead to an abscess (infection) of the tooth. Although some abscessed teeth cause severe pain, others have the pulp silently die and do not cause discomfort. Without treatment the infection will spread, and the bone around your tooth will begin to degenerate. Generally, only two options are available: root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
Root canal therapy usually involves one to three appointments. First, you will probably be given local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, a rubber sheet isolates the tooth. Next, your tooth structure is removed above the pulp chamber along with the diseased pulp. The canals that hold the pulp are reshaped, cleansed, and a filling material is placed to prevent future infection of the area.
Depending on the condition of your tooth, a crown may be recommended to prevent future fractures.
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