Root Canal Treatment
The term 'root canal' commonly describes the dental treatment of removing a tooth’s pulp, disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and then filling the tooth with restorative material. However, a root canal is actually a chamber inside your tooth where the pulp tissue resides. The treatment is more correctly referred to as root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy.
Root canal therapy is a treatment that can save your tooth and prolong its life by many years.
When is a Root Canal Treatment needed?
A cracked tooth or significant decay may result in the pulp of your tooth becoming exposed, allowing bacteria to enter the nerve and cause infection. This can lead to great discomfort, but root canal therapy can be used to remove the infection and prevent it from spreading to surrounding bone and muscle tissues.
Symptoms of an infection in your root canal may include:
• A toothache and pain that’s either constant or spontaneously occurs
• Tooth pain in response to biting pressure
• Tooth pain in response to atmospheric changes (e.g. when on an airplane)
• Tooth pain in response to movement (e.g. running or moving from standing to lying down)
• Swelling around a tooth
• Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
Though it’s possible these symptoms may result from other issues, we recommended that you contact us so we may diagnose the problem properly.
How does a Root Canal Treatment work?
We will first thoroughly inspect your tooth and discuss your options with you, to ensure root canal treatment is the best option. The treatment begins with local anesthetic, the removal of the infected pulp, and disinfection and shaping of the root canal. The root canal will then be filled with a biocompatible material to replace the pulp, which is typically gutta-percha, a natural rubber.
To complete the treatment, a filling or dental crown is typically recommended to restore the function of the tooth and prevent further problems.
Is a Root Canal Treatment painful?
Anesthetics will be used during root canal treatment to prevent any discomfort. After the treatment you may experience very mild discomfort in your tooth for only couple of days.
How many visits are necessary for Root Canal Treatment?
At our waterloo clinic we perform root canal therapy in one visit.
A crown is strongly recommended after the root canal treatment has been completed to eliminate the possibility of fracture.
Are there alternatives to a Root Canal?
Yes there are, but receiving root canal treatment at an early stage is almost always the recommended solution if you are suffering from an infection of the tooth’s nerve. The alternative is to have the problem tooth extracted, since infected tooth pulp cannot heal.
Are Root Canal Treatments safe?
Yes. The pulp inside your teeth is actually unnecessary for practical purposes once your teeth have fully grown, and its role instead becomes a sensory organ. Therefore using root canal therapy to remove your tooth’s pulp isn’t harmful to the function of your tooth, and the restorative filling we use in the root canal itself is a biocompatible material.