Root Canal Treatment

Toothaches are a common dental emergency and often the result of extensive decay, trauma or injury to the nerve of a tooth. A root canal treatment may be required to relieve pain and address the cause of tooth pain, allowing you to save a tooth where years ago removal may have been the only option.

What is a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is a dental treatment involving the removal of an injured, infected or dead nerve (pulp) from a tooth. The process of root canal treatment involves removing the damaged, infected or dead nerve tissue, cleansing and disinfecting the root canal then sealing it with a specialized root-filling material.

There are 4 main steps involved:

  1. All decay is removed from the tooth and the dental pulp is accessed in the root canal
  2. The inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed, and the root canal system is cleaned, disinfected and shaped
  3. If an infection is present, an antibacterial dressing is placed inside the tooth to assist in the healing process.
  4. At a following appointment, the cleaned root canal can be filled and sealed with a biocompatible filling material called gutta-percha.

Once the root canal therapy is completed, a filling or a crown is required to restore and protect the tooth. We will discuss with you what the best treatment would be for you.

Do you need a root canal?

Root canal treatment is necessary when the nerve, or dental pulp, becomes inflamed or infected. This procedure is required to stop the spread of infection from the tooth into the surrounding bone. This type of damage or infection can be brought on by a number of factors, including tooth decay, previous deep fillings, trauma or a crack in the tooth.

The most common signs and symptoms associated with a tooth requiring a root canal treatment are:

  • Pain to hot, cold or biting down
  • Swelling of the gums, cheek or face
  • A pimple or pus draining from the gums
  • A dark or discoloured tooth

When your tooth is infected, your immune system cannot reach the inside of your tooth to fight against bacteria. Antibiotics may help in fighting against bacteria in the surrounding bone but are unable to remove the source of the infection - bacteria inside the tooth. This is why an infected tooth cannot heal on its own and can only be treated by root canal treatment or by removal of the tooth. Delaying treatment may lead to an abscess, spreading of the infection and in some cases life-threatening sepsis.

Restoring the Tooth After a Root Canal Treatment

After root canal treatment, the tooth needs to be restored. The goal is to restore the function and appearance of your natural tooth.

The best long-term treatment option to restore your tooth will depend on the amount of healthy tooth structure that is remaining. Teeth that require root canal treatment are often heavily damaged from tooth decay or a fracture, and a dental crown is commonly recommended.

Length of Procedure

Root canal treatments are typically completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of the tooth under rehabilitation.

At the end of the first half of treatment, we will need to evaluate the tooth and decide whether it can be sealed and filled. If the tooth is not infected, the treatment may be completed in a single visit. In cases where a root canal treatment is completed in more than one appointment, an antibacterial dressing and a temporary filling is placed to seal the tooth between appointments.

When your tooth is symptom-free, the root canal system will be sealed with a specialized root-filling material and prepared for the planned final restoration.

Recovery After Root Canal Treatment

Once the entire root canal treatment is completed, it is normal to experience some tenderness for two to three days. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine as soon as the next day.

Root Canal Treatment at Horizon Dental

At Horizon Dental, we are trained in performing delicate and intricate procedures like endodontic treatment. We are not only trained in complex restorative procedures, but are also compassionate and professional. With the help of our entire staff, we aim to make every patient feel welcome and comfortable, relieving the stress and anxiety associated with undergoing dental procedures.

To learn more about root canal treatment , please call Horizon Dental at 905-475-5673 or contact us here.