When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay root canal therapy is usually the preferred treatment. While some patients opt to extract a tooth, it can often be saved by removing the bacteria and decay within the pulp and nerves of the tooth. The space is then filled with special, medicated materials which restore the tooth to its full function.

People often compare poor situations to “having a root canal”. Root canal therapy earned this painful reputation decades ago. The good news is that this procedure is not painless and highly successful. In most cases, people are in so much pain before the root canal, that they feel root canal therapy is fantastic!

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess on the gums

  • Sensitivity to hot and/or cold

  • Severe pain

  • Swelling and/or tenderness

Although the above symptoms often indicate an infection requiring a root canal, there are times that a dentist can detect the infection prior to the patient developing symptoms.

What does root canal therapy involve?

If you’re ready for the nitty gritty on root canal therapy, here goes:

While your tooth is numb, a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to keep it dry. An opening is drilled on top of the tooth and a series of files are used to remove pulp, nerve tissue and bacteria. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is filled and sealed with special dental materials. All teeth treated with root canal therapy should then have a crown placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from further damage.

After treatment, you may experience some slight sensitivity, but this will subside as the inflammation dies down. Good hygiene and regular dental visits will preserve and extend the life of your root canal treatment