A root canal is a treatment performed to save a tooth when the nerve of the tooth is damaged. This can happen due to decay, tooth fracture or trauma.
Pain, sensitivity to hot and cold or localized swelling are all symptoms which may indicate the need for a root canal. However, some teeth that need root canal therapy will not have immediate symptoms and the problem can only be detected by x-rays.
The root canal begins with the administration of local anesthesia (novocaine). The tooth is then prepared by accessing the nerve chamber. The next step is to use endodontic files to expand and clean the root canals. After the canals are cleaned and dried, they are filled and sealed to prevent further infection.
A common question is: "Will the root canal hurt?"
Our standard response: The entire process can be so comfortable that many of our patients doze off.
We use local anesthetics, post-op pain medication and advanced techniques that allow the procedure to be performed with little or no pain in most cases.
It is also important to point out that most teeth that have had root canal treatment will require a crown to help prevent them from fracturing.