What is a Root Canal?

Endodontic treatment, also known as a “root canal”, is a treatment that saves a severely injured, cracked, or decayed tooth when the soft inner tissue inside a tooth’s root canal becomes inflamed or infected. If it is not treated promptly, pain or a tooth abscess results.

Who Performs Root Canals?

Endodontists are root canal specialists. They are qualified Dentists who have two additional years of education and specialized training in the care and treatment of tooth pulp and the inner parts of the tooth. If a root canal is required, a Dentist often refers the patient to an Endodontist for treatment.

Warning Signs

See your Dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Tooth or gum pain
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • A tooth is tender when it is touched
  • A tooth abscess
  • Pus drainage in your mouth
  • Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes under your jaw

Sometimes an endodontic problem can exist without warning signs. In these cases, an x-ray taken during a routine dental checkup will reveal the tooth damage.

Endodontic Treatment

Root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased pulp along with the tooth’s nerve (located within a tooth’s root canal). The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of your tooth are then cleaned, medicated and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative treatment is used to protect and strengthen the tooth. Root canal treatment is completed in one or two office visits, depending on the presence of infection and the required treatment plan. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene, the restored tooth has the potential to last a lifetime.