Root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth, causing the pulp to become infected. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on.
We test for root canals by looking for signs of infection and/or swelling and by looking at the color and strength of the tooth. X-rays can also be taken to look for possible root canal development. It's important to remember that root canal treatment may be necessary even if you are not experiencing pain.
Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy.