Endodontic therapy or Root canal therapy involves treatment of a decayed tooth to eliminate infections. Cavities and pain are external manifestations of bacterial infection or damage to the nerves and pulp contained within the root canal. If the infection is not treated in time, it may cause irreparable damage to the tooth structure and affect the adjoining teeth. A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save the infected tooth. The root structure is interspersed with canals. Nerves and blood vessels pass through these canals to provide nutrition and sensitivity to the tooth. An untreated infection of the canal may lead to the formation of an abscess or a swelling that may spread to other areas of the face or neck. Chronic infection may lead to degeneration of the jawbone. Root canal treatment involves removal of the infected area including the pulp and nerves. Prior to sealing, the area is cleaned and disinfected to prevent the further bacterial growth. Removal of the nerve does not affect its function, so it can be safely removed to save the tooth. A local anesthesia is given at the time of the procedure that reduces any pain or discomfort. The treatment may require several sessions depending on the nature and severity of the damage. The treatment can cost anywhere between $400 and $1500. The patient may experience pain and discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Symptoms generally subside with time. The root canal has more than a 95% success rate and the can last a lifetime.
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