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Root Canals

Dental pain is one of the most debilitating experiences you can have. If you have any of the following please call us right away, your tooth may need root canal treatment:

  • Throbbing sensation that keeps you up at night
  • Toothache that prevents you from eating hot, cold, or sweet foods
  • Tooth pain accompanied by swelling, fever, trouble swallowing, or feeling unwell

What To Expect If You Need a Root Canal

Root canal therapy is necessary when the nerve (sometimes called the “pulp”) of a tooth is affected by decay, bacterial infection, or severe inflammation due to trauma.

When you come in with a toothache we first will perform a series of tests to diagnose the problem. If the tooth does indeed need a root canal we may elect to start the first part of the procedure immediately or we may put you on antibiotics to get the infection under control beforehand. In any case, we will certainly get you out of pain! People think root canal therapy is painful but it is actually the root canal that relieves the pain.

The nerve chamber in the tooth is accessed by making a small opening in the top of the tooth. After the infection has been allowed to drain out (sometimes takes 1-2 weeks) the nerve canals are then cleaned and shaped to allow us to close them off with a filling material that prevents the infection from recurring. The opening at the top of the tooth is then sealed off and a porcelain or gold crown is placed over the tooth to prevent it from breaking.

Why Don’t We Just Extract the Tooth?

Root canal therapy is extremely predictable and is the treatment of choice for a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed to relieve the pain and drain the infection. The best tooth is your own tooth, so if we can save the tooth we will! Occasionally the tooth will require further treatment if there is residual infection but usually root canal treatments last a lifetime and are less expensive than replacing a missing tooth.

If you have a toothache, please call us right away!