Root Canal Therapy
About Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy is when the nerves and vascular systems, called the pulp, in the center of your tooth are removed, cleaned, and then filled. Sometimes deep decay can cause your tooth to go through changes that affect the pulp’s ability to stay healthy and it effectively begins to atrophy. This can lead to severe pain and sometimes an abscess. In certain situations you can experience no pain but an infection can still persist. Think of it like a zit that hasn’t popped, bacteria love conditions where there is not a lot of oxygen so they proliferate at rapid rates. The problem with a tooth is that when it pops the infection can spread to many areas.
To perform a root canal, we move through the top of your tooth in order to access the pulp chamber. We then use specialized tools to remove any infection, as well as the roots of the tooth. Once the roots have been removed, the root canals are filled in with a special type of plasticized material called gutta-percha, and then the tooth is filled back in. In general, it’s a 1-2 hour procedure.
We can always clean out the internal root canal system but sometimes because of bacteria outside the tooth or complex root anatomy a supplementary root amputation surgery may need to be performed.
So how do you know if you need a root canal?
Simply watch out for these common signs of infection:
- Pain while Chewing or applying pressure to a tooth.
- Prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperatures
- Discoloration or a darkening of the tooth.
- Swelling or tenderness in gums surrounding the tooth.
In most cases we will be able to perform your root canal in our office. However, in some cases root canals require a specialist. If that is the case for you, we’ll refer you to a specialist we trust for treatment.