Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment can save an infected tooth from otherwise certain extraction—it’s a proven procedure that will leave your mouth healthy and strong while restoring its natural appearance.

Root Canal Treatment

A tooth’s inner structure consists of a soft, delicate material called the pulp. This material is normally protected by the tough enamel material that surrounds it. However, a potentially serious infection can occur if harmful bacteria are able to access the inside pulp. This happens occasionally due to deep cavities or unexpected injuries. If you don’t receive treatment, you could likely lose your tooth. Root canal treatment is a great solution to overcome a serious inner tooth infection.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure used to save a tooth when the tissue, blood vessels, and nerves inside of a tooth have become inflamed. In order to save the tooth and remove the pain, the dentist has to remove infected and diseased tissue. Then the infected area is cleaned out and the canal inside is medicated so the surrounding area is able to heal.

Illustration of a tooth cross section showing roots and nerves
  • How long does a root canal take?

    The average root canal procedure time is between 60 and 90 minutes. The time of the procedure usually varies based on the location of the tooth, and each case is different, so consult with your dentist on the specifics of your procedure. This endodontic procedure involves removing the infection from within your tooth, disinfecting the inside, and filling the area where the infection was removed from. Once completed the healthy tooth structure is then sealed. Sometimes a dental crown is recommend to protect the tooth from breaking.

     

  • What are common root canal symptoms?

    A patient suffering from an infected root canal will almost certainly recognize that there is something wrong. They will usually be in severe pain and will notice the following symptoms:

    • Severe and intense toothaches that won’t go away
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
    • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
    • Recurring abscesses on the gums

    Generally, but not always, a crown will need to be placed after the root canal treatment is complete in order to protect the tooth from any further damage.

  • How long does the pain from a root canal last?

    There is a common misconception that root canals are very painful. The truth is, the root canal procedure itself isn’t usually any more painful than a tooth filling. Dentists typically provide an anesthetic before the procedure so during and a short while after there isn’t a huge amount of discomfort.

    After the procedure, some sensitivity and discomfort is common while the area around the root canal heals. Gums can become swollen or agitated during the procedure, resulting in mild pain or sensitivity. Pain and sensitivity should subside when the tooth is healed. After your treatment, your dentist will provide you with special instructions on how to care for your newly treated tooth.

  • What are alternatives to root canal treatment?

    Most people facing root canal treatment are curious as to whether there are alternative procedures worth considering. Since endodontic therapy is considered a “last line of defense” for restoring your tooth, the only remaining options are to have your tooth extracted or wait until you’re in pain and have it removed at a later date. Unfortunately, with either of these options, you risk the infection spreading deeper into your face or adjacent teeth. Getting a root canal is the best possible solution.

    If you opt to have your tooth extracted, there’s still the concern of replacing it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the extra space in your bite can throw off the alignment of your surrounding teeth. Two of the more common replacement options include a dental bridge or implant.

Questions About Root Canal Treatment?

If you have any questions about root canal treatment, contact us or request an appointment using the links below, or explore the variety of other dental services we provide.