Root Canal

It is important to understand why a root canal may be necessary and what happens during root canal treatment.  Root canal treatment, also known as endodontics, treats disorders of the nerve, or pulp, of the tooth.

What makes a root canal necessary?

The following are common factors contributing to a need for root canal treatment:

  • Trauma, such as a physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw that damages the tooth
  • Physical irritation caused by a deep decay or a very large filling
  • Severe gum disease

Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected.  Bacteria grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain, and sometimes a swelling of the face.  Eventually the pulp is destroyed and the bone surrounding the tooth may become infected and abscessed.

What happens during treatment?

If it is determined through x-rays and a clinical examination that root canal treatment is necessary, a series of appointments will be scheduled.  It is important to keep these appointments to prevent delays in treatment and healing, and it is essential that you take all antibiotics and medications prescribed to hasten healing and reduce swelling.

  1. First, we want to relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing and ensure your comfort throughout the treatment.  When necessary, an anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding area, and it is isolated with a rubber dam to confine the treatment area and protect the mouth from bacteria and chemical agents.
  2. We carefully remove the diseased pulp.  An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp.  The root canal area inside your tooth is cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  3. The inside of the tooth is sterilized to remove bacteria.
  4. The root canal and pulp chamber are permanently filled and sealed.

Throughout your root canal treatment, we will make every effort to ensure your comfort and to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  Our goal is to help you preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime!