Root Canal Therapy
According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canal therapy is the most feared dental procedure of all. Despite this stigma, root canal therapy is actually a pain-free, quick and relatively comfortable procedure. In fact, it relieves your pain and can prevent more complicated oral issues down the road.
A root canal is a term used to describe the natural cavity in the center of a tooth. This area contains a soft area known as the pulp chamber that houses the nerves. If this area becomes irritated or infected due to cavities, trauma or decay, root canal therapy is necessary. If left untreated, the infection can cause an abscess, which can lead to swelling of the face and neck and bone loss around the roots of teeth.
Endodontists specialize in oral trauma and are often able to save teeth that have been injured in accidents or sports-related activities. Traumatic injuries include root fractures as well as teeth that have been chipped, dislodged, or completely knocked-out and should be seen immediately by an endodontist.
Apexification is a procedure used to stimulate root development or closing of the root end ("open apex"). An open apex is often found in teeth that are not fully developed or whose roots have been eroded away by a process known as resorption. This complicates root canal therapy by making it difficult to seal the root canals with routine methods.
Whether your tooth has cracked due to an injury or general wear and tear, you can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from erratic pain when you chew your food to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures.
There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack. The sooner your tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once treated most cracked teeth continue to function as they should, for many years of pain-free biting and chewing.