A Root Canal is a treatment that is performed in an effort to save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it, then filling and sealing it to prevent further infection. Common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma such as an accident, fall or sports injury that damages the blood supply to the nerve. When a tooth has an infected nerve, there are only two options - root canal treatment or extraction.
Most people think of root canal treatments as very painful. With advances in dental technology and local anesthetics, most people have little or no pain with a root canal today.
Root Canal Procedure
- X-rays of the affected tooth are taken, then local anesthesia is administered.
- The affected tooth is isolated to keep it free from saliva.
- A small hole is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar to remove the diseased pulp, called a pulpectomy.
- The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and shaped in preparation for a filling.
- The space is filled with a sealer and the access hole is filled in.
- A crown is generally placed over the tooth to restore its natural appearance.
Signs & Symptoms
- An Abscess (or Pimple) on the Gums
- Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
- Severe Toothache Pain
- Swelling and/or Tenderness
- Sometimes No Symptoms are Present