Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp or nerve of a tooth becomes inflamed or diseased. Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth’s infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to two hours in the office.
Situations where you may need root canal treatment:
- abscess or infection of the tooth
- a deep cavity that has reached the tooth’s nerve or pulp
- repeated dental procedures that has caused irreversible inflammation of the nerve or pulp
- a cracked or broken tooth
- injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
This video from the American Academy of Endodontics illustrates a root canal treatment.
Dr Chee works closely with a team of endodontists (root canal specialists). As she assesses the level of treatment needed, Dr. Chee will consult with her team and may refer your treatment to them to provide you with the best outcome for your tooth.
Although permanent teeth can last a lifetime, teeth that have become damaged or decayed may need to be removed or extracted. Dr. Chee brings her gentle touch and extensive expertise to her procedures to ensure that your treatment is successful.
Other reasons for extractions may include:
A crowded mouth. Sometimes dentists extract teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontics. The goal of orthodontics is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it, Dr. Chee may recommend extraction.
Infection. If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp and root canal treatment is not feasible due to the extent of the decay or infection, extraction may be recommended
Periodontal or gum disease. If periodontal disease — a deterioration of the tissues and bones that support the teeth — has caused infection or bone loss around the teeth, it may be necessary to extract the tooth or teeth.