Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, infection, a tooth crack or chronic physical trauma. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space inside the roots is filled with root filling material.
Having a root canal done on a tooth could save the tooth so that it will not have to be removed.
Signs & Symptoms for Possible Root Canal Therapy
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Lasting sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments. While the tooth is numb, we place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files of increasing diameter are placed into the opening, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria from the main canal(s).
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, we seal it with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, we place a a temporary filling. At the next appointment, usually a week later, the root canals and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.
Doing high quality endodontics really is an art. We spend a lot of time and spare no effort in ensuring a long term prognosis of our root canal treatments. We only use the best and the latest materials and technology throughout this procedure.
In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown or inlay placed to protect from bacterial contamination coming from the oral environment and prevent the tooth from breaking, and restore it to its full function.