Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy becomes necessary when a tooth’s root chamber becomes infected by decay. Extensive tooth decay or an injury can cause serious damage and infection to the nerves and vessels in the dental pulp, making root canal therapy necessary to save the tooth.

Complications of tooth pulp infection

If tooth pulp infection is left untreated, complications could include:

  • Spreading infection – once the pulp becomes infected, it loses its ability to fight the spread of the infection. If bacteria find their way into the pulp chamber, the bacteria will multiply unchecked. This can cause a severe infection or an endodontic abscess when it spreads into the surrounding bone (a pocket or ‘blister’ of pus).
  • Localised bone loss – the infection may spread around the ends of the infected root canal and cause bone loss in the jaw.
  • Loss of tooth – the tooth may have to be removed, which interferes with the person’s ability to bite and chew. Tooth replacements such as dentures, bridges and dental implants may not be possible or may not be tolerated. They may be more costly and involve other issues that also need to be considered.