Root canal treatment or root canal therapy (RCT), also known as endodontic treatment, is performed when a damaged or diseased tooth needs to have the pulpal tissue removed. The pulpal tissue is the inner most core of your tooth below the enamel and dentinal layers. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which are all crucial for the development of the root during growth. 

Once the tooth is fully developed, it can survive without the pulp and gain nourishment from the surrounding tissue. 

Depending on the tooth, there can be one canal or multiple canals. During root canal treatment, all the canals of the root are cleaned, disinfected, and filled. Sometimes this can be done in one appointment, other times it may take two appointments. 

A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain and sensitivity as the first indications of a problem. The inflammation or infection leading to needing a root canal may be caused by deep decay, multiple dental procedures previously done to that tooth, trauma, fractures in the tooth, and chipped or broken parts of the tooth. If the inflamed or infected pulp is left untreated, it can cause severe pain and may lead to an abscess. 

If you are having pain in a tooth, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, pressure or bite sensitivity, discoloration of a tooth, swelling, tenderness of surrounding gums, radiating pain from a tooth, these could all be signs that you may need root canal treatment. Sometimes there is no pain or symptoms, yet the tooth may still need a root canal. 

Root canal treatment is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success, and involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal treatment is designed to save a problem tooth; before the procedure was developed and gained acceptance, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction. 

After a root canal is performed, most teeth will need a dental crown because the tooth structure is weakened. Root canal treated teeth become susceptible to fracturing, therefore, need a dental crown to reinforce the strength of the tooth especially on your back teeth, molars and premolars.

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