Root Canals

Non Surgical Root Canal

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. 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.

How is a root canal performed?
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 90% 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.


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.

How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess (gumboil). An abscess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. The symptoms of an abscess can range from a dull ache to severe pain and the tooth may be tender when you bite. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

Actually, the pain is about the same as having a cavity filled, and not nearly as “legendary” as myth would indicate. Root canals actually stop and prevent pain by removing the real cause of the pain from the tooth—decay and infection. We use safe anesthetic procedures and recommend pain management medications for you to use as you recover.

Why do you think a root canal is better than an extraction?

While extractions are sometimes necessary in severe cases, we prefer root canals because they come with fewer potental complications. Your original tooth maintains your bite structure and prevents us having to involve healthy adjacent teeth in the treatment of the affected tooth.

Does insurance pay for a root canal?


Diagnosing Root Canal Therapy

Post-op Instructions for a Root Canal

Homecare:  Root Canal Therapy

Caring for a temporary restoration

Now that you have had root canal therapy, it is  important to follow these recommendations to ensure

If we placed a temporary filling or crown on your tooth,  avoid chewing for at least one-half hour to allow the
restoration to harden.  To keep your temporary restoration in place, avoid  eating hard or sticky foods, especially chewing gum.

If possible, chew only on the opposite side of your  mouth. It is not a problem for a small portion of a temporary  filling to wear away or break off , but if the entire filling  wears out, or if a temporary crown comes off , call us so  that it can be replaced.

Chewing and eating

If we used an anesthetic during the procedure, avoid  chewing until the numbness has completely worn off .  Your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several  hours.

Brushing and flossing

Brush and floss normally.

Medications and discomfort

If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for  the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and
signs of infection are gone. To control discomfort, take pain medication before the  anesthetic has worn off or as recommended. It is normal  to experience some discomfort for several days after a  root canal appointment, especially when chewing.

To further reduce discomfort or swelling, rinse your  mouth three times a day with warm salt water. Use about  one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.

When to call us

Call our office if your bite feels uneven, if you have  sensitivity or discomfort that increases or continues
beyond three or four days, your temporary filling or  crown comes off , or you have any questions or concerns.


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Infected Pulp of Tooth

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