Modern “root canal treatment” can usually immediately eliminate the pain of even a severe toothache and save a tooth which would otherwise need to be extracted. As well, advances in anesthetics have made root canal treatment virtually pain free. We find that most of our patients have more curiosity and misconceptions about root canals then any other dental service provided.

Each tooth within your mouth is supported by one or more roots. Within each root there is a small canal called the “root canal”. Contained within each canal there are living blood vessels and nerve fibers which are refereed to as the “pulp” of the tooth. If a tooth has a cavity which is not treated, the cavity will continue to increase in size until it enters the pulp. When this occurs, the pulp becomes infected or damaged and the person usually experiences a moderate to severe toothache. In order to eliminate the pain and save the tooth, the damaged pulp must be removed.

During root canal treatment, special tiny instruments are used to remove the pulp from within the canals of the tooth. An anesthetic is used to “numb” the tooth before this is done, and we expect the patient to feel absolutely no pain during the procedure. A variety of medications are then used to eliminate any infection that may be present within the tooth.

The final step in root canal treatment involves completely filling up the now empty tunnels within the tooth using a soft “rubber like” material. This filling prevents bacteria from re-entering the canals.

Sometimes after a root canal is completed a filling can be placed in the area of the tooth damaged by the decay. If a large section of the tooth has been weekend by the decay, a crown is needed to strengthen the tooth and prevent the tooth from cracking.

A tooth which has had root canal treatment completed does not feel any different to the patient than a tooth which contains a living pulp. The pulp is involved with formation and growth of the tooth in a child but serves little function in the adult tooth. With proper care (daily brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups) a tooth which has had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

As with all treatment that Dr. Haremza and Dr. Harrison provides here at Palmyra Family Dentistry , we will ensure your complete comfort and understanding. A root canal is nothing to be worried about, it is however extremely important in the saving of your tooth!