Signs and symptoms
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
How is a root canal therapy done?
- First the tooth will be numbed. Then a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.
- An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
- Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
- At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.
- In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
Recommended Patient Education Videos for Root Canal Treatment
Need a root canal? Don’t be anxious. This informative video will walk you step-by-step through the procedure and explain how endodontists, the root canal specialists, can save your teeth.