Root Canal Therapy

What is endodontic therapy (root canal)?
Root canal treatment is one of the most common dental procedures performed, with well over 14 million being completed every year. This simple procedure can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. Success rates of root canal treatments are about 95%.

Root canal treatment involves removing inflamed or infected dental pulp, which is the soft tissue in the middle of the tooth consisting of blood vessels, nerves, lymphatics and other connective tissue. The pulp is located in a hollow chamber in the middle of the tooth and extends along the lengths of the roots in small tubes called root canals. Inflammation and infection of the pulp can be caused by deep decay, traumatic injury, cracks, chips or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of pulp inflammation and infection include temperature sensitivity, pain, swelling in the gums, and visible injury to the tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical endodontic treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp.

How is a root canal treatment performed?
During a root canal treatment, the injured dental pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Local anesthetic is administered before the procedure to eliminate any discomfort. The procedure is typically completed in one or two appointments, with each appointment lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. In the event that your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.

What happens after treatment?
When root canal treatment has been completed, a case report and copy of the final x-ray will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact their office to make arrangements to have the permanent crown or filling placed within a few weeks. Your dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after endodontic treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.