Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is an alternative to removing a tooth when the nerve inside the root of the tooth becomes infected or irreversibly inflamed due to decay, a crack or trauma. You may need a root canal treatment if you experience the following:

  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache
  • Throbbing pain (especially at night)
  • Severe pain when biting
  • Tooth discolouration
  • An abscess (or gum boil) draining pus
  • Facial swelling
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If you experience the above symptoms, the dentist will examine your tooth, take x-rays, and perform other tests in order to diagnose the problem. If the tooth can be saved, the dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. If you have a severe toothache, it is usually resolved during the first stage of the treatment, providing immediate relief.

The process is usually completed over two or three appointments, but there are also many teeth that can be root canaled in a single visit. First, the dentist removes any old fillings, decay, and infected tissue. The nerve (or pulp) is removed before cleaning and shaping the root canals using specialized instruments and disinfectants. Antibiotic medication is then used to treat the infection. To prevent bacteria from reinfecting the canals, they are sealed with a special material. The tooth is then restored with a filling or a crown. Once the tooth is properly restored, it is very likely to last for even decades. Success rates for root canal treatment are about 90 to 95 percent.

It is often believed by patients that a root canal treatment is painful, however there should be no pain during the procedure. Also, if the patient comes in with pain, they often leave with immense relief. If the thought of root canal treatment still makes you feel anxious, please look at our options for sedation.

For patients that don’t want to go ahead with root canal treatment or if the tooth is too broken down to be saved due to cracks and/or decay, we will discuss replacement options with you to resolve the missing gap. This may involve placing a dental implant or even closing the gap with orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign.