Petersen Family Dentistry
123 West Francis Avenue, Suite 104
Spokane, WA 99205
Root Canals
A root canal or, endodontic therapy, is a procedure available to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise require extraction. There are many reasons that teeth can become infected including cavities, previous large fillings, crowns, cracks, fractures, trauma, and extreme wear.

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

When a patient is faced with the difficult decision of a root canal or an extraction, a root canal is usually the treatment of choice. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what they do not realize is that extracting (pulling) a tooth can ultimately be more costly.

While root canal therapy has a high degree of success, it is not 100% guaranteed. It is very important to have a permanent restoration (usually a crown) placed within 30 days of the root canal. If a permanent restoration is not placed in a timely manner, bacteria may get reintroduced into the canals if the temporary material is leaking, which would require the root canal to be redone. Also, the tooth is often more susceptible to fracture after a root canal, and it may break in a place where the tooth cannot be saved. Therefore, when considering having a root canal done, it is important to also follow through with the crown (on back teeth) or permanent filling (on front teeth).

Reasons For Root Canal Therapy
• Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
• Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
• Injury or trauma to the tooth
• Extreme wear

Through radiographs and clinical findings, our dentists can diagnose if a root canal is needed. Depending on the complexity, you may be referred to a root canal specialist for treatment.




Petersen Family Dentistry | www.petersenfamilydentistry.com | (509) 483-3332
123 West Francis Avenue, Suite 104, Spokane, WA 99205



 

 

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