Root Canal Therapy


What is the purpose of root canal treatment?

  • Root canal therapy is treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity or cracked tooth.
  • The treatment involves removing the pulp and the nerves of the tooth, and cleaning the infected area.
    • A tooth's pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums.
  • If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone.
  • The results in pain and swelling, and your tooth would likely have to be removed. 

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

  • Severe tooth pain while chewing
  • Your tooth pain wakes you up at night
  • Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot or cold, with the sensitivity lingering for some time.
  • Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
  • Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth

What does the treatment involve?

  • First, an opening is made into the pump chamber through the crown of the tooth.
  • Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned.
  • If the dentist decides to complete the root canal therapy in multiple visits, a temporary filling will be placed to protect the tooth.
    • When you return, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, re-clean the root canal and pulp chamber, and place a permanent filling and/or a crown over the tooth. 


Do teeth with root canals still have a good long-term prognosis?

  • Root canal therapy has a high rate of success and many teeth undergoing the procedure can be saved to last a lifetime.
  • Additionally, the crown or filling placed the completion of the procedure makes it hard to notice by others that you had the treatment.