Root Canal Treatment

Beautiful female patient with perfect white teeth sitting in dental chair, smiling and showing thumbs up after treatment at modern dental clinic.

A root canal is a treatment of the center of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead. The center of the tooth, called the pulp, is a soft substance that consists of nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue. Symptoms of the infection include visible injury or swelling of the tooth and sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums. If you experience any of the symptoms, contact our dental office.

Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth. If he or she determines that you need a root canal treatment, 1 or 2 appointments will be scheduled based on the size and duration of the abscess and other factors.

Before starting root canal therapy, the doctor will administer local anesthesia to ensure your complete comfort. A dental dam is placed on the infected site to isolate the affected area. A small opening is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the root canal, is removed from the chamber and canals. The canals are then cleaned with a disinfecting solution. X-rays may be taken throughout the procedure to ensure each canal is being adequately treated.

Once the canals are cleaned, they are filled with gutta percha, a rubber-like material to protect and seal. A temporary filling may be placed in the opening until it can be replaced by a permanent filling. After the root canal is completed, the tooth will need a crown to protect it from fracturing.

After the procedure, your tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days. This discomfort may be relieved with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until you have a full restoration.

Root canal therapy can preserve a patient’s tooth for a lifetime. It is a highly successful procedure with more than a 95% success rate.

We also offer the following services in addition Root Canal Treatment:

  • Dental Post
  • Dental Core

Did you know…

that while most infected teeth are easily identified by the symptoms they cause, some produce no discomfort at all? It is important to visit your dentist regularly for routine exams that may reveal diseased teeth that would otherwise go unnoticed. Failure to treat an infected tooth could result in the death of the tooth and total loss. Worse, the infection can spread to other areas of the body, causing potentially life-threatening conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need root canal treatment?

You may need a root canal if tooth decay or a broken tooth has allowed the pulp to become infected and inflamed. Signs and symptoms to watch out for include temperature sensitivity, swelling, drainage, odor, pain, and discoloration of the tooth. It is important to treat infections quickly, as delaying treatment can result in severe tooth pain and abscess.

What should I expect to happen during my root canal?

Your doctor will numb your tooth with a local anesthetic and administer analgesia if needed. Once the tooth is numb, an opening will be made in the top of your tooth to access the canals. Your Dentist or endodontist will use tiny instruments to remove pulp from your tooth and prepare it to be filled. You will return at a later date to have your root canal capped with a crown or other type of restoration that will give it the appearance and function of a natural tooth.

Will I need to follow any post-operative instructions following my root canal treatment?

You will be allowed to drive yourself home from your root canal visit and may even wish to return to work the same day. However, it is normal for your tooth to be sensitive in the days following your procedure. You’ll need to avoid biting anything with your filled tooth, as this can cause it to break or fracture. So long as the tooth heals normally and you experience no complications, you can return to your dentist or endodontist usually within a month to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth.