Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is the pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helped to build the surrounding tooth. An infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the gums, sensitivity to temperature changes or pain in the tooth and gums.

How is a root canal performed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend root canal therapy (non-surgical treatment) to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Healing for this type of treatment occurs in greater than 90% of the cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or if the chance of healing is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when it becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate pain and discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

An example of a healthy tooth
Healthy Tooth
A tooth anatomy diagram highlighting pulp dentin and canal
Tooth Anatomy
A visual of tooth inflammation showing tooth decay and an inflamed pulp
Inflammation
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Cleaned Canals
An illustration of root canal filling of a tooth
Filling Placed
An example of a tooth healed by root canal therapy
Healed Tooth

Endodontic Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic procedures, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canal therapy are discussed.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within 3-4 weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, please contact our office. If after hours, your doctor’s contact number will be listed in the greeting.  Also, please have your pharmacy’s telephone number available.  To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will a root canal cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.