Root Canal Treatment

What is Root Canal Treatment?

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 for dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is the pulp. The Dental Pulp is a collection of tissues (cells, blood vessels, nerves, connective tissue) 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, hyperalgesia to temperature, or pain in the tooth, and gums.

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. Dr. Cutbirth will go into great detail to ensure you understand your anatomy and potential issues. And will describe how we, with our new technology, will treat your tooth. To include: how the injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.

Our therapy usually involves just local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. 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. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and as soon as possible will be comfortable enough to return to your normal routine.

Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When non-surgical endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth (see Apicoectomy Surgical Retreatment).

We recommend that you call your restorative dentist the same week, post-treatment, to make your follow-up appointment. Dentists' schedules tend to book quickly. It is recommended that you have your permanent restoration placed as soon as possible. This step is imperative for the long-term prognosis of your tooth.

Dr. Cutbirth will discuss the properties of any temporary filling he places. The temporary is designed to seal and not allow ingress of pathogenic bacteria. 

Timely follow up with your general dentist is crucial for a permanent restoration. Not following up can allow your temporary filling to leak, thus contaminating your newly completed root canal therapy. Call your dentist the same week (post-treatment) and get on their books for the completion of your restoration. It's that simple, and it puts you on the right road to retaining your tooth for a lifetime.