Root Canal Therapy
Get relief from your pain while being treated comfortably
If you have ever had a toothache from an abscessed tooth, you know how excruciating and inescapable the pain can be. The nerve lies in the middle of the tooth and runs down the root in a long narrow canal, out a tiny opening (often less than two tenths of a millimeter in diameter) in the tip of the root, and joins up with a nerve bundle that eventually makes its way to the brain.
An infection that destroys the nerve of a tooth can produce a tremendous amount of gas inside the nerve canal. Because the opening at the root tip is so small and surrounded by tight ligaments and bone, the gas cannot easily escape from the tooth and the pressure increases in the tooth and at the tip of the root very quickly. This is the cause of the unbearable toothache.
In order to remove the source of infection (the dying nerve), an opening is made into the nerve chamber. The nerve is then cleaned out, and the now hollowed-out canal is sealed. The final restoration (usually a crown) is placed over the access opening and the tooth, ligaments, and bone can now heal from the inflammation and infection and return to a normal, comfortable, functional state. Meticulous cleaning of the nerve chamber and canal is important, so two visits may be necessary on teeth with multiple roots and complex anatomy.
Will it hurt?
Root canals have a rather nasty reputation from years’ past. Thankfully, advances in both the type and delivery of anesthetic, as well as the ability to decrease the infection with antibiotics prior to treatment allow our team to treat you comfortably throughout the entire procedure. Anti-inflammatory medications do an excellent job of dealing with any post operative discomfort, if you have any. Many patients don’t.