Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is utilized to save the tooth after the tooth's nerve has been affected by infection or decay. During this treatment, the pulp (living tissue inside of a tooth), nerves, bacteria and decay are removed. The space that remains after the procedure is filled with medicated dental materials that will restore the full functionality of the tooth.

Root canal therapy is typically done to keep a tooth from having to be removed. Though pulling out a damaged tooth may seem like the easiest solution to the problem, it actually turns out to be more costly for the patient. In addition, it typically causes significant problems for the teeth on either side of the damaged one.

This procedure is very successful in its purpose, and it typically lasts a lifetime. On the rare occasion, a tooth will have to be treated again due to more infections.

Common signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Swelling and/or tenderness

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?
One or more appointments are necessary for a root canal, and either a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) will perform the procedure.

After numbing the tooth, an access opening is created on the top of the tooth. A series of root canal files are passed through this opening and are used to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria and decay.

After a thorough cleaning, the roots and cavity inside the tooth are filled and sealed off; the opening created on top of the tooth is also covered. Crowns are also typically placed on any teeth that have received root canal therapy, thereby protecting the tooth from further breakage and making it fully functional once again.

The tooth will likely be sensitive after the treatment, but this sensitivity will diminish after the tooth has healed.
Care instructions are provided to all patients who receive a root canal treatment.





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