Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment can save an infected tooth from otherwise certain extraction—it’s a proven procedure that will leave your mouth healthy and strong while restoring its natural appearance.

Root Canal Treatment

The root canal of a tooth is the tooth’s inner structure and it consists of a soft, delicate material called the pulp. This material is normally protected by the tough enamel that surrounds it. However, a potentially serious infection can occur if harmful bacteria are able to access the inside pulp. This happens due to deep cavities or unexpected injuries. If you don’t treat this infection, you could likely lose your tooth. Root canal treatment is a great solution to treat a serious inner tooth infection.

Illustration of a tooth cross section showing the nerves and roots attached to the gums
  • What is a root canal?

    A root canal is a procedure used to save a tooth when the nerves inside become inflamed. The dentist must remove the infected tissue in order to save the tooth and remove the pain. Once that is done, the infected area is cleaned out.

    Root Canal Symptoms

    A patient suffering from an infected root canal will almost certainly recognize that there is something wrong. They will usually be in severe pain and will notice the following symptoms:

    • Severe and intense toothaches that won’t go away
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
    • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
    • Recurring abscesses on the gums

    Generally, but not always, a crown will need to be placed after the root canal treatment is complete in order to protect the tooth from any further damage.

  • How is root canal treatment performed?

    Root canal treatment starts with digital X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. Sedation is then provided for comfort while the dentist accesses the tooth’s inner structure. They carefully clean out the infectious material to leave the tooth as a hollowed-out structure. Then they flush the area with an antimicrobial liquid. The tooth is then treated with a medicated filling substance to offer support and strength to help the tooth heal in a timely manner. To protect the tooth, a dental crown is placed over the structure to prevent fractures and breakages.

  • How long does the pain from a root canal last?

    There is a common misconception that root canals are very painful. The truth is, the root canal procedure itself isn’t usually any more painful than a tooth filling. Dentists typically provide an anesthetic before the procedure so during and a short while after there isn’t a huge amount of discomfort.

    Some sensitivity and discomfort is common while the area around the root canal heals. Gums can become swollen or agitated during the procedure, which results in mild pain. This pain should subside when the tooth is healed. After your treatment, your dentist will provide you with special instructions on how to care for your newly treated tooth.

More Questions?

If you have more questions about root canal treatment, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.