What is a root canal?
At the center of your tooth are the root canals where the pulp (a collection of nerves and blood vessels) enter into the tooth. Inflammation or infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the inflammation or infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
When a tooth becomes inflamed and hypersensitive to the point where it cannot recover or when a tooth dies and abscesses, then you need root canal therapy in order to retain the natural tooth and eliminate the pain and infection.
Oral pain such as toothaches or cracked / fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint. Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An Endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend 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. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 85-95% of cases.
If 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. We use local nesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.