What is Root Canal Therapy?  And why would you need a root canal?

Root canal therapy (also known as endodontic therapy) may be required to treat diseases of the tooth pulp (nerve) and the surrounding (periapical) tissue.

Often this treatment makes it possible to save a tooth which otherwise would require removal.

There are several reasons why a tooth requires a root canal, including extensive decay, periodontal (gum) infection as well as tooth injury or trauma.

Whatever the initial cause, the pulp (nerve) becomes irritated and infected allowing for bacteria to grow that can cause significant pain and pressure in the surrounding area.  In some cases deterioration can occur so gradually that the patient doesn’t feel any pain and the problem can persist without any symptoms. In both cases bacteria causes inflammation to the tooth pulp and when that happens the bone surrounding the tooth may become infected and abscessed and eventually destroy the bone around the tooth.

 

What does root canal treatment do?

Root canal treatment involves removing decayed and infected tissue from the tooth and the pulp chamber.  Once cleaned, the chamber is filled and sealed with a medicated material.

Special care is given to monitor patients every step of the process and our highly trained staff are on hand throughout the entire procedure ensuring both patient comfort and safety.

Follow up care

After the root canal treatment is completed and the tooth is asymptomatic (no further signs of pain or swelling) the tooth will be permanently restored to its original chewing capability with a permanent filling or a crown (cap) to prevent further deterioration.

 

Overview This illustration shows the steps involved in performing a root canal. The dental pulp is infected inflammation and pain.  An abscess forms at the base of the pulp .  Once at our office the area is numbed and prepared for the procedure.Step 1.A small access hole is drilled through the biting surface of the affected tooth, allowing access to the pulp chamber.Step 2.The diseased and dead pulp tissue is removed from the tooth with specially designed instruments used to clean out the root canals and pulp chamber. This is not painful  the area is numb and the tissue being removed is either dead or dying. Once the pulp, along with the nerves contained in it, is removed, the tooth itself can no longer feel pain. The canals are disinfected and prepared for the next step.Step 3.The canals are then shaped with tiny flexible instruments to allow them to receive root canal fillings and sealers. The canals are washed and cleaned again to remove root canal debris prior to sealing them.  Usually a rubber-like material is used to fill the canal space. It is a thermoplastic material which is heated and then compressed into and against the walls of the root canals to seal them.  Sealing the canals is critically important to prevent them from becoming reinfected with bacteria.Once complete a filling material will then be placed to seal the access hole that was made to treat the canals completing the treatment