Root Canal Treatment

What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth's pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled. This procedure seals off the root canal. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment saves many teeth that would otherwise be lost.

The most common causes of pulp damage or death are:

A cracked tooth
A deep cavity
An injury to a tooth, such as a severe knock to the tooth, either recent or in the past.

Process
The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize the effected area. The next step is to open an access point through the top, or biting surface of the tooth. The doctor will then determine a working length of each canal. Each canal is then cleaned and shaped in preparation for the filling material. Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha. The canals are then sealed. The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown. This entire procedure is often completed in two visits.

Signs/Symptoms

Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another