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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy (also referred to as endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach all the way to the pulp of the tooth.  Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy.  Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess).  By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated and cannot heal on its own.  It can even weaken the entire immune system.  Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold, sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting pressure and a bad taste in the mouth.  A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth.  Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled to prevent any further infection.  Usually a core buildup and a crown is recommended for restoring the tooth.