Tue, Feb 20, 2018
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Root Canal

Root Canal

A root canal is utilized to restore and save a tooth that is infected or inflamed.  A tooth can have one to four canals with the back teeth having more canals

than the front teeth.  The center of the tooth is hollow and contains pulp (blood vessels and nerves).  The pulp is responsible for the nourishment of the tooth, which makes the tooth more resilient, harder, and less prone to break when eating hard food.  A root canal is performed when the tooth's pulp (nerve and blood supply) are infected or inflamed.

Reasons for a Root Canal

  • Decay has reached the pulp chamber of a tooth.
  • The nerve is exposed when the tooth broke.
  • Infection in the root canal, which if not treated  can spread to other areas of the body and/or can cause bone loss.
  • Abscessed tooth, which is a pocket of infection that forms at the end of the roots of a tooth.
  • Experience severe toothache pain when eating ( tooth fracture)
  • The tooth has turned dark, which is a sign the tooth has died.

The Process

A root canal is typically a one visit procedure  that removes the contents of the pulp chamber (nerve center) of the tooth.  After the soft tissue, nerves and decay are removed, the tooth is cleaned, sterilized, and the “root canal” is sealed with a biocompatible filling material. The clinically visible portion of the tooth is then restored to stabilize it. Typically , an endodontically treated tooth will require crown coverage for maximum strength and longevity – this treatment may proceed after the completion of the “root canal”.   Depending on the magnitude of pre-op decay/fracture, a post may be placed within the root itself to enhance crown retention.Regular checkups and evaluations are recommended following treatment to ensure post-op viability, and to monitor the health of the entire root complex.

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