Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. To save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed, and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth with problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although, occasionally, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Root Canal Therapy

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infections or abscesses have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

Root canal therapy is performed to fix the inside of a tooth that has become infected or damaged. Because teeth are very strong, they can last years with just their enamel protecting them from outside bacteria and viruses.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, we will seal it 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 a root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

What does root canal therapy involve?

As one of the most popular dental procedures today, root canal therapy has a very high success rate. When performed by a skilled dentist or endodontist, the procedure is usually painless and can save your tooth and smile.

Root canal treatment:

  • Allows you to keep your natural tooth.
  • Relieves pain.
  • Prevents infection.
  • Restores your tooth to its full function.
  • Maintains your smile.
  • Protects other teeth from excessive biting forces.

Do you need a root canal?

You should visit your dentist or endodontist if experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above. Only a skilled professional can determine if you need root canal therapy. During your visit, your dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the tooth's health and see if decay or infection is present. You will not need a root canal without decay or infection.


After a root canal procedure, it is important to take care of your tooth and follow the instructions given to you by your dentist. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will help ensure the success of your treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your dentist.

How to prevent a root canal:

Many patients ask if there is anything they can do to prevent needing a root canal. The best way to avoid the need for this procedure is to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit our dental hygienists regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums and prevent tooth decay. In addition, eating a balanced diet and avoiding sugary snacks and drinks will also help keep your teeth healthy.

Contact Silvertooth Family Dental today to schedule an appointment! We will be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

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