Root Canal Therapy

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 pulp.  The pulp (or “nerve”) is a collection of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves that helped to build the surrounding tooth.  Irritation to the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the inflamed or infected pulp can be identified as sensitivity to temperature, chewing, spontaneous pain in the tooth and gums  and swelling.

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. The injured pulp tissue is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves only local anesthesia (“novocaine”) and is usually completed in one visit depending on the treatment required. The success rate for this type of treatment is over 90%. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed by Dr. Elena at your consultation or if a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. In this event, there are other procedures that may be required.  We use special deep numbing local anesthesia techniques to prevent discomfort during your treatment.  We also provide other patient comfort items to help you relax during your procedure. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

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 a few 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, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene. (Also see Following Treatment)