Root Canals

What are Root Canals?

A root canal is a restorative procedure that involves removing the inner pulp of a tooth. Your teeth all have inner pulps, which are responsible for housing any blood supply or nerves present. When this pulp becomes infected by decay or exposed through a break or crack, you’ll often experience severe pain and sensitivity to hot and cold liquids. In order to eliminate the pain while saving the structure of the tooth, we remove the pulp via a root canal.

Why might Root Canals be needed?

The most common reason for patients needing to have a root canal done is because of tooth decay. A cavity that was either never found or ignored for a long time will eventually get worse to the point of affecting the inner pulp. Another reason you may need to have a root canal is because you broke or cracked a tooth enough to expose the inner pulp. Most patients who need a root canal will experience toothache, severe pain and sensitivity to temperature extremes.

Who is a candidate for a Root Canal?

To determine if you need a root canal, we will examine your teeth and take x-rays. This helps us to identify areas of decay and if the inner pulp has been exposed or infected. If there is an active infection or abscess below the tooth, we may prescribe you antibiotics before the root canal is performed. If you need a root canal, it’s a good idea to have it done as soon as possible to prevent the pain from getting worse.

What happens during a Root Canal?

The root canal process begins with local anesthetic that is used to numb the area. We then fit a rubber dental dam over the tooth to keep it completely isolated. The decay is removed from the tooth and we take out the pulp using special dental instruments. Once this is done, we will fill the canals of the roots with a medicated material. The tooth is then closed with a filling. Most often, patients will need a crown shortly after the root canal is performed because it is weaker and more susceptible to breaking and cracking.

If you would like to learn more about root canals and how they are done, call us today so that we can help to answer all of your questions.