Root Canal Therapy – An Overview

Root canal treatment treats disorders of the nerve of the tooth. The following are the most common factors contributing to a need for root canal treatment:

  • Trauma, such as physical blow to a tooth or the constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw that traumatizes the tooth,
  • Deep decay that extends to the nerve,
  • Physical irritation caused by a very large filling or crown,
  • Severe gum disease.

What happens during root canal treatment?

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A cavity left untreated for too long can penetrate the pulp.

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The root pulp becomes infected and may cause swelling and pain.

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The diseased pulp is removed and the root canal is cleaned and shaped.

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The root is filled with a synthetic material and is now ready for permanent restoration.

Once it is determined through x-rays and clinical examination that a root canal treatment is necessary, we may schedule a series of treatments for you or in other complicated cases, refer you to a root canal specialist who will work with us regarding your treatment. It is important that you keep these appointments to prevent delays in treatment and healing, which can affect the outcome.

  1. First, an anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding area, and the tooth may be isolated with a rubber dam.
  2. The diseased pulp is removed. The root canal area inside your tooth is cleaned and shaped.
  3. Depending on your individual case, the root canal may be permanently filled. In some cases, we may place a temporary medication in the tooth to control bacterial growth and reduce infection.
  4. A temporary filling is placed in the opening of the tooth.

What care follows the treatment?

  1. Brittleness- a root canal treated tooth becomes brittle and more susceptible to fracture. Therefore, in most cases, we recommend that your root canal tooth be crowned following treatment.
  2. Discoloration- In some cases, especially a front tooth, you may notice the tooth turning “grey”. This discoloration is of no medical concern. You may be interested in having the tooth whitened if we do not decide to place a crown on the tooth