Root canal therapy

Endodontic therapy

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Root canal therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having root canal therapy done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth with problems is the solution, but they do not realize that extracting (pulling out) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal therapy is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, the therapy will have to be repeated due to new infections.

 

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy

  1. Abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  2. Sensitivity to hot and cold
  3. Severe toothache
  4. Sometimes no symptoms are present
  5. Swelling and/or tenderness
  6. Injury, broken tooth

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments.

While the tooth is numb, 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.

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 heals.

Schedule an appointment

Contact us and schedule an appointment. We are available for all your questions.

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