Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy is necessary when an infection develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth because of an injury or a severe, untreated cavity.  Pulp tissue is the softer part of your tooth underneath the hard layer of dentin and enamel. It consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.  Without treatment, the infection can cause pain or even an abscess.  Root Canal Therapy is the process of removing the pulp tissue, carefully cleaning and disinfecting the canals, filling them with material and sealing them off.

Root canal treatment often times has a bad reputation of being painful.  In reality, it can be completed with no more discomfort than getting a routine filling.  However, a tooth that has a root canal is generally a bit sorer for a few days following the procedure.

Root Canal Therapy Procedure

A root canal can be completed in just one visit.  Local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. A small opening is made in the surface of the affected tooth to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Tiny instruments are used to remove the dead and dying pulp tissue from inside these narrow passageways. The chamber and empty canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and prepared to receive a filling material to seal off the canals, preventing future infection. Finally, composite filling material is used to fill the access hole.  To further protect the tooth and restore it to full function, it’s usually necessary to have a crown placed on it. The crown preparation can be done on the same day as the root canal, or may be done at a future appointment.