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When the tooth nerve is damaged and becomes infected due to extensive decay or trauma, a root canal is often the necessary treatment. The infected nerve is removed from the tooth and the canals are disinfected and cleaned to remove destructive bacteria. The canals are then filled and sealed to prevent further entrance of bacteria into the tooth structure.
Teeth that have had root canal therapy lose vitality, which makes the enamel more susceptible to cracks and breakage. These teeth should always be protected with a dental crown after root canal treatment.
If it is possible to save an infected tooth, a root canal is usually the recommended procedure rather than removing it. With root canal treatment, a tooth can continue to serve its primary function to the body by remaining in position and supporting the bone structure and opposing bite forces in the mouth. By removing the tooth, this function would typically have to be replaced with an artificial tooth via a dental implant or bridge, which are more costly procedures.
In some cases, our Doctors may recommend that a root canal specialist, or Endodontist, perform the root canal procedure. We then work closely with the Endodontist to coordinate placement of the dental crown following root canal treatment.