Root canal treatment, also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth which otherwise would have to be removed.
A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches the pulp at the center of the tooth, causing it to become infected and inflamed. If an infected pulp is left untreated, it begins to eat away at the surrounding bone, creating an abscess. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on.
Trauma can also cause deep damage to the nerve of a tooth. The damage may be noticed shortly after traumatic injury, though in some cases it may be years before you present with signs of pulpal infection.
Once the pulp is infected it must be treated, as it cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system, making it very dangerous and painful.
Symptoms of infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot and/or cold, a throbbing sensation, pain with biting or pressure, swelling, and perhaps a bad taste in your mouth. You may notice evidence of an abscess by the presence of a pimple-like fistula on the gums of the suspected tooth. However, it is also common for the tooth to be asymptomatic, or without any symptoms, and you will be unaware of any problem until a checkup or examination.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and and disinfect the canals in the roots of the tooth, which involves removal of the nerve and blood supply to the tooth. The only alternative treatment is extraction of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canals are filled and the tooth is restored. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy.
Root canals used to be regarded as an uncomfortable experience, taking several appointments to complete. But with our advanced dental technologies and equipment, we can almost always complete your procedure in one appointment. Advances in sedation and anesthetic options also ensure that your time in our chair will be a comfortable one. The length of the procedure varies on the tooth being treated, but we will ensure your comfort throughout your visit.Back