Root Canal Therapy

A tooth infection, deep decay, or even dental trauma can cause a problem deep within the tooth that leaves you in pain. In an effort to save your natural tooth and relieve your pain, our team can perform root canal therapy to remove the damaged tissue. We know that the thought of a root canal can make patients feel nervous, but rest assured that the treatment is gentle and we offer nitrous oxide to help you stay comfortable throughout the procedure.

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What Is a Root Canal?

Despite common thinking, a root canal procedure isn’t something to be scared of. The procedure is gentle and can relieve your tooth pain quickly.

To start your treatment, we’ll take digital X-rays of your teeth and jaw to pinpoint exactly where the trouble spot is. Once you’re in the chair, we’ll numb the immediate area and isolate the tooth that we’re going to work on. If you need some sedation to help you relax while we work, let us know and we’ll administer nitrous oxide. In order to access the affected tooth structure, we’ll make a small access hole in the tooth. Through this hole, we will remove any damaged or infected pulp from the canals in the tooth’s root – that’s where the name “root canal” comes from! We’ll take another set of X-rays to ensure that all the affected tissue has been removed before filling the canals with a medication to kill any remaining bacteria. Finally, we’ll place a filling in the tooth to keep bacteria out. We often recommend that patients also get a dental crown placed on top of the tooth to give it extra strength and protection.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

The most accurate way for us to determine if you need a root canal is to bring you in for a consultation where we take X-rays and do a visual exam. If you experience any of the following signs, call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • New and/or sudden pain
  • Lingering pain that may even wake you up at night
  • New sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Swollen gums
  • Abscesses (sores) on gums
  • Pain that radiates from a single tooth

Post-Treatment Care

After your treatment, you can expect your mouth to feel a little sore and tender for a couple of days. Over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen can help take the edge off the pain. If your pain is more severe, let us know and we can prescribe a stronger pain medication. We also encourage intermittent icing to help pain and swelling. Use an ice pack against the cheek for 15 minutes at a time. You should avoid chewing, especially anything hard or sticky, for a week or so to give the tooth time to heal. Once the healing process is complete, though, your tooth will be strong and you’ll have full function of it again. Don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions you have during your recovery!

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