Root Canal: An Overview
We offer root canal therapy to help patients preserve their natural teeth while eliminating pain and infection.
The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. There are nerves and soft tissue inside the root canal. Tooth pain is the most common root canal symptom. Root canal pain is caused by bacteria or debris that has entered the area and caused irritation, infection or in extreme cases, an abscess.
How Will I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is typically recommended when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. Advanced tooth decay, repeated trauma to the tooth, or crack or chip in the tooth may cause a dental infection or inflammation of the pulp. If swelling or infection is left untreated, it can cause severe tooth pain or a dental abscess.
Root Canals & Dental Fear
We know many patients view root canals as a painful procedure, but in reality, they are just as simple as a dental filling. We take every measure to ensure our patients are safe and comfortable throughout their treatment. If necessary, we may recommend dental sedation to help you remain relaxed and comfortable throughout your appointment. We will evaluate your overall health and dental health before recommending the most appropriate sedation method.
Root Canal: What to Expect
Many patients ask, “does a root canal hurt”. Most of the pain associated with a root canal is with the actual infection itself. A root canal procedure is generally not painful and will be similar to having a filling placed. You may experience some sensitivity after the root canal procedure, but the post-operative pain is usually minimal.
If the root canal requires treatment by a specialist (endodontist), our dentists will make that referral for you. If not, we can often complete the root canal in one visit.
First, we will take digital x-rays to evaluate the tooth and root canal, looking for signs of infection in surrounding areas. The area will be numbed and then the dentist will make a tiny hole in the tooth to access the infected area. Damaged and infected tissue will be removed along with any debris found inside the tooth. The root canal is then thoroughly mechanically cleaned and chemically disinfected. Once cleaned, our dentist will fill the root canal with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. The tooth is then covered with either a dental filling, inlay/onlay or a dental crown.