Root Canal Therapy or Endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities which together constitute the dental pulp. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with small files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta-percha and typically a eugenol-based cement.
After the completion of root canal treatment, you should return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect from fracture and restore it to full function.
The alternatives to root canal therapy include no treatment, or tooth extraction. Following tooth extraction, options for prosthetics replacement may include a dental implant(s), a fixed partial denture (commonly referred to as a 'bridge'), or by a removable denture.
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