A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. It is always preferable to save the tooth by performing a root canal, rather than pulling it.
Tooth decay can cause an abscess (infection). The decay is removed and an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned and shaped.
The root canals and pulp chamber are filled. A metal or plastic rod or post may be placed in the root canal to help retain the core (filling) material, which supports the restoration (crown). The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling.
How long will the restored tooth last?
When properly restored, a tooth with a root canal filling can last for many years. But, like any other tooth, it can become decayed or fractured or the tissue around it can get gum disease. Daily cleanings and regular dental exams will help keep your mouth healthy, whether you’ve had root canal treatment or not.