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 for dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. 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 tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.

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 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 anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia, if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

Endodontic FAQ

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion is hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

Will I be able to drive after the procedure?

Yes, performing a root canal will not impart you with the ability to operate a motorized vehicle or drive. The drugs we use will not impair your cognitive ability.

If you have been prescribed on anxiolytic drug (anti-anxiety medications) then you will need a responsible escort to transport you to our office, remain in our office for the duration of your procedure, return you to your residence and then be responsible for you for the remainder of the day.

All consent forms for conscious sedation patients should be signed prior to the date of their appointment

Can I eat before and after and what can I eat?

Yes, you may consume your normal diet prior to endodontic treatment without restrictions.

Exceptions include patients that will have treatment under conscious sedation or under IV or general anesthesia. In these cases, you should abide by the orders of the doctor or dental anesthesiologist.

Children patients scheduled for nitrous oxide should have a light meal before their appointment (i.e. a piece or two of toast and water).

Will I still be in pain after the procedure?

The root canal itself does not cause much pain or discomfort outside of some soreness from the injection. If you were experiencing pain or discomfort to cold prior to the procedure that should be eliminated immediately. If you were experiencing pain or discomfort from biting, chewing, tapping, or pushing in your tooth that may persist for several days to several weeks following the procedure because the tissues around the tooth are inflamed and bruised and it will take time for the inflammation to subside..