Root Canal Therapy

A root canal is a dental treatment of a tooth that has become infected due to a cavity or a crack in the enamel.  The treatment process includes removing the tooth’s nerves and pulp, and then cleaning the infected area.  If the root canal is not performed the infection can spread to the surrounding bone, which would result in painful swelling and the need to remove the tooth. The result of the treatment is that the tooth is repaired and does not need to be removed.  Fortunately, the pulp and nerve are not important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums.

 

Signs that you need a root canal

 

There are a few symptoms that can indicate that you may need a root canal:

·         Discoloration or darkening of the tooth

·         Severe tooth pain while chewing

·         Swollen gums in the infected tooth area

·         Lingering high sensitivity to hot or cold

·         Tooth pain that wakes you up from your sleep

 

What is the process for root canals?

 

The root canal treatment is relatively simple.  An opening is made into the pulp chamber through the crown of the tooth, where the pulp is removed. Once pulp removal is complete, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned.  Afterwards, a permanent filling and/or crown is put on the tooth.  In the case where the dentist wants to complete the treatment in multiple visits, a temporary filling will be placed in order to protect the tooth until the next visit. 

 

Once you return, the temporary filling will be removed, the root canal and pulp chamber re-cleaned, and a permanent solution will be put in place.

Root canal therapy has a high success rate.  Many of the affected teeth undergoing treatment can be saved for the remainder of the patient’s life.  The treatment also produces results so natural that it will not be immediately noticeable that you’ve had anything done.