A tooth that becomes infected with caries will need to be resolved. When detected early, a simple tooth filling will suffice, but when the infection has progressed much and has encroached into the area of the pulp tissue, a simple filling will be rendered useless. With an infection that serious, a patient will be prescribed with either a root canal or a tooth extraction. You need to remove the infection and these two procedures will do the trick, but since a tooth extraction results to the loss of a tooth, your only option for saving it would be to undergo a root canal.
After the Root Canal
A root canal procedure is consider a pulp treatment and what it is, is a procedure that kills the tooth by removing its blood supply and in doing so, you remove the nerves. As a result, you rid the tooth of infection so it is allowed to remain in your mouth, lifeless. So, what happens next?
• The tooth is dead. Since the pulp tissue has been removed, the tooth will be dead. The pulp tissue is the nerve and blood supply of the tooth. Once it is removed, the tooth will no longer have any sensation. It can no longer feel pain, cold and heat. This means that, a once infected and painful tooth, can survive the rest of its life, feeling no pain at all. It is dead but it is not removed, unlike when you opt for a tooth extraction. A root canal kills the tooth but the tooth is allowed to remain in the mouth, to serve its purpose: its esthetic, masticatory and speech functions.
• The tooth will become brittle. Since the tooth is dead and no longer receiving nourishment through the blood, it will become brittle. It is weaker and when subjected to much force, it can break easily. As a means to protect and strengthen the tooth, after a root canal, you can pot a post to support it and then fit it with a crpwn, to cover it. Posting and crowning will definitely prolong the life of a dead and brittle tooth—it will protect your investment quite well.
• The tooth may discolor. Another consequence that follows after the tooth’s death is discoloration. It is dead and no longer receiving nourishment, so it may exhibit some darkening. A dead tooth may become browning or greyish in tinge. This may be resolved by internal bleaching, but for a more permanent solution, you may want to completely mask it by fitting it with a veneer or a crown. Doing the latter will also provide protection for the weakened tooth, as previously explained.
• The tooth may become re-infected. Unfortunately, a root canal treated tooth may become re-infected and when this happens, the entire procedure will have to be repeated. A persistent infection may also prescribe an apex treatment, but further investigation into the problem will be required to confirm this.
Root canal treatments are very valuable because it allows a patient to save a tooth that otherwise have to be removed. Unfortunately, this procedure is not without compromise, and all of that was just discussed so that you have the whole picture. Hopefully, this helps you make a sound decision.