Root Canal Therapy

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.

Endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) is necessary when the pulp within the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend endodontic therapy. In treatment, a local anesthetic will be used,  the pulp removed, and the root canal system  thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This procedure is usually completed in one appointment though on occasion a second appointment may be necessary. Endodontic therapy is general  90% successful.  If your tooth can not be saved with endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when it becomes evident during the course of treatment.  You will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment and in most instances, return to your normal routine.

An example of a healthy tooth
Healthy Tooth
A tooth anatomy diagram highlighting pulp dentin and canal
Tooth Anatomy
A visual of tooth inflammation showing tooth decay and a inflamed pulp
Inflammation
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Cleaned Canals
An illustration of root canal filling of a tooth
Filling Placed
An example of a tooth healed by root canal therapy
Healed Tooth

Endodontic Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic therapy, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canals are discussed.

Endodontic Presentation

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What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your  dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.  To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.