Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment becomes necessary in cases when the inner portion of a tooth is affected by infection or decay. The living tissue inside the tooth (pulp), nerves, and any decay or bacteria are removed to save the tooth from extraction, and the empty space is filled with medicated fillings to restore the structure and function of the tooth.

A root canal infection occurs when decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, or an infection develops inside the tooth or at the root tip. Root canal damage can also be caused by trauma or injury to the tooth. Listed below are some signs that may indicate the presence of a root canal infection:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and foods
  • Swelling and/or tenderness in the nearby gum
  • A recurring abscess on the gums

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal treatment typically requires two visits to our office. First, the tooth is numbed by using local anesthesia. A dental dam (a rubber sheet) is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and to prevent the infection from spreading to the nearby tooth. Using dental instruments, a hole is drilled in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The infected pulp, damaged nerve tissue and any decay is removed from the tooth, and then the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed with dental filling material. A temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it from fracturing. At your next appointment, we will replace your temporary crown with a permanent one to restore the full structure and function of the tooth.

We will also give you detailed instructions to help you care for your tooth. It is not uncommon to experience slight sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. This should go away once the tooth heals and the inflammation diminishes.

For more information about root canal therapy, please contact our office to learn more.