Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is an option that allows us to salvage a tooth when it becomes painful from either trauma or infection. We remove the compromised tissue, then cleanse and seal the remaining structure. This procedure allows the tooth to be useful for many years.

A root canal is recommended when a tooth becomes too painful or extremely uncomfortable. Some of the causes of pain can be due to the pressure of chewing, changes of temperature, or when the surrounding tissue is swollen from infection.  It is important that the remaining tooth structure is viable for future use before root canal therapy is performed.  The procedure may be done by a general dentist or a specialist.

How To Fix a Painful Tooth Using Root Canal Therapy

The first step after the area is numb is to isolate the tooth with a rubber dam.  We use the rubber dam to protect the patient from debris and fluids.  It also helps minimize the re-introduction of bacteria into the canals. 

We make an opening into the top of the tooth directly into the pulp chamber.  From here, we remove the nerve or pulpal tissue and the canals are accessed.  Each canal is cleaned with special files that remove infected tissue and debris.  The canals are thoroughly rinsed with special fluids that help remove any tissue and kill bacteria.  Once the canals are clean and dry, we seal them with a material called gutta percha that helps seal the canals and prevent future infections.

Once the root canal therapy is complete, your tooth may require a crown to protect it for future chewing. If you have a painful tooth that may be salvageable, reach out to your dentist soon about the option of a root canal.

Is a root canal treatment painful?

If the infection is severe, a root canal can be uncomfortable or painful. This can be offset by taking antibiotics first to reduce the infection and allow for better comfort during the procedure.

How do I care for my tooth that has had a root canal after treatment?

For most chewing teeth, such as molars, a crown is needed to protect the remaining structure.  For front teeth, such as incisors, a filling often suffices to protect the tooth.