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Root Canal Therapy

Man with a toothacheRoot canal therapy is a common restorative procedure that can rescue an aching or damaged tooth from extraction. While root canals have developed a reputation as being a thing to dread, there is nothing to fear from this treatment at Canatella Dental. In fact, if you need a root canal, that’s actually good news -- it means your tooth can be rescued and we can keep your smile intact!

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

Interior dental office

Your dentist may recommend a root canal when the interior of a tooth, or the part known as the pulp, is infected or damaged. This may occur when a cavity is left untreated and the decay is allowed to progress to reach the innermost part of the tooth. An injury that leaves the pulp exposed may also call for a root canal.

Some of the signs that you need to have root canal therapy include:

  • A persistent toothache
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Pain upon pressure
  • A darkening or graying tooth
  • A pimple-like bump that forms on the gums below or above the tooth
  • A foul odor coming from the tooth

Don’t delay in visiting your dentist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The tooth will not get better on its own -- and the infection could also spread throughout the body, putting your overall health at risk.

What Happens in a Root Canal?

Woman smiling outdoorsTo begin a root canal, we will first make sure you are completely comfortable with local anesthesia and relaxing sedation as desired. Once you feel totally at ease, your dentist will begin by creating a small access hole in the tooth. Then, all of the infected or damaged tissue is removed and the canal (tooth’s interior) is cleaned and reshaped. All the tissue that was removed is replaced with a biocompatible material known as gutta percha.

Most root canals are completed over the course of two visits to the dentist. Once the canal (tooth’s interior) has been cleaned out and refilled, we may reshape the tooth and prepare for a permanent crown. Antibiotic therapy is sometimes used to help speed healing of the infection. A temporary filling may cover the area in between appointments.

Once the tooth has been restored with the permanent crown or filling, the procedure is complete. Most root canals are very successful and can keep the tooth stable for years to come.

What Is Recovery Like after a Root Canal?

Once the root canal is complete, we will send you home with detailed instructions on post-operative care to ensure the recovery is as speedy and comfortable as possible. You may experience some discomfort and swelling right at first, but these symptoms should subside after a couple of days.

Right after your root canal, remember to…

  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Take all prescribed medications as directed
  • Elevate your head when resting to reduce swelling
  • Eat a soft foods diet until you feel comfortable eating again
  • Brush and floss your teeth as normal, being very gentle around the treatment area

If your symptoms worsen or do not improve after several days, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office.

Learn More about Root Canal Therapy!

If you have an aching or damaged tooth that needs rescuing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Canatella Dental. Our team of professionals can have you out of pain and on with your life fast with expert root canal therapy! Go ahead and request an appointment today.