Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure used to treat teeth with decay or infection in the nerve. It involves removing the affected tissue and filling the space with dental materials. Saving the tooth through root canal treatment is preferable to extraction, as it can prevent further complications and costs. The procedure is typically successful and long-lasting, although occasional retreatment may be needed. Seeking professional dental care is essential to determine if root canal therapy is required and to ensure proper treatment and oral health.

Signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for root canal therapy include an abscess or pimple on the gums, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, severe toothache pain, swelling and tenderness, and sometimes no noticeable symptoms. These signs suggest potential issues with the tooth's nerve or infection that may require root canal treatment. Seeking prompt dental evaluation is important to determine the appropriate course of action and preserve the tooth.

Root canal therapy is performed for several reasons:

  1. Decay reaching the tooth pulp: When tooth decay progresses to the point where it affects the pulp, which is the living tissue inside the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels, root canal therapy is necessary. This helps remove the decayed tissue and alleviate any associated pain or infection.

  2. Infection or abscess inside the tooth: If an infection or abscess develops within the tooth or at the root tip, root canal therapy is often recommended. This involves removing the infected or abscessed tissue and cleaning the root canals to prevent the spread of infection and restore oral health.

  3. Injury or trauma to the tooth: Teeth that have experienced severe injury or trauma, such as a deep fracture or impact, can damage the tooth's pulp. Root canal therapy is often performed to address any pulp damage, relieve pain, and restore the tooth's functionality.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Contact Us.We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.