Root Canal Therapy

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Root Canal Therapy

What is a Root Canal?

A "root canal" is a term used to describe the natural cavity in the center of a tooth. This area contains a soft area known as the pulp chamber that houses the nerves. If this area becomes irritated or infected due to cavities, trauma or decay, root canal therapy is necessary. If left untreated, the infection can cause an abscess, which can lead to swelling of the face and neck and bone loss around the roots of teeth.

Symptoms of a Root Canal Problem

  • Severe tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Tooth becomes discolored
  • Swollen, tender gums
  • A reoccurring pimple that forms on the gums

Root Canal Therapy Procedure

In years past, root canal treatments would take multiple long visits. Thanks to advances in technology and technique, most patients can have the procedure can be completed in a single visit. In the treatment:

  • The area around the target tooth is numbed, isolated and sterilized from bacteria
  • The infected tissue is removed and replaced by a rubber filling material
  • The tooth is then built back up and prepared for a crown. This is done by performing either a core buildup or a post and core buildup.
    • A core buildup is done to rebuild the tooth structure, which has been compromised by an access cavity that was created to remove the infected tissue. A tooth-colored dental composite is used to replace the tooth structure, providing a solid foundation for the crown.
    • A post and core buildup is done if more than half of the tooth’s original crown has been removed. A small metal post is placed first as an anchor for the core. The core is then placed over the post.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call our office to schedule a consultation for root canal therapy.