The tooth will then possibly need a post and core and a crown in order to re-establish normal form and function. This decision will be based upon several additional factors. (Fig. 6)
If treated early, root canals need not be uncomfortable. With the use of local anesthetics, the entire procedure can be totally painless.
Another “ Old Wive’s Tale “ is that by removing the nerve the tooth becomes “ dead “. This is not true. The tooth is very much alive and functioning because it receives a source of blood supply and nerve supply from the surrounding tissues that hold it in place in your jaw bone. The tooth will have no sense of feeling to hot, cold or sweets but will be responsive to biting pressures etc. With the proper restoration the tooth should last as long as your other teeth and can even be used as an anchor tooth for a partial denture or cemented bridge. The success rates for root canal therapy have been reported to be as high as 95%.
Sometimes when there has been long standing infection or abscess, there may be some soreness associated with the first or second root canal visit. If this should turn out to be true you will be given specific instructions to follow to minimize the discomfort. When an infection is present, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic. If pain should be present, analgesics may need to be prescribed. In either case, be sure to call your dental office if either of these problems should arise.