Dental Services

Endodontics

Root canal treatment, also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having it removed.

A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth, causing the pulp to become infected. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on.

Trauma can also cause deep damage to the nerve of a tooth. Once this occurs, the pulp dies and becomes infected. The infection begins to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. The longer this condition is not treated, the more bone loss will occur and one may loose the tooth. In some instances, infection could break through the jaw bone and spread to the blood stream and can cause death. It can also weaken the entire immune system, making it very dangerous and painful.

Symptoms of infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, and you are unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy. With any back tooth (behind canines), it is highly and always recommended to have a crown placed after this procedure to protect it and ensure success rate.

ROOT CANAL RETREATMENT

In rare cases, root canal therapy unexpectedly fails. Reasons vary, but can include any of the following:

  • The treated tooth doesn’t heal properly
  • The crown cracks and leaks filling material
  • Infected canals are overlooked or missed during treatment
  • The placement of the restorative crown is delayed
  • There is continued decay or new decay in the tooth
  • Saliva gets into the restorative crown

When a treated tooth doesn’t heal properly or experiences other complications, it can become painful or diseased days, months or even years following treatment. If you have a tooth that hasn't healed properly or has become subject to new dental problems, we can perform a root canal retreatment procedure that can help heal and save your tooth.

Root canal retreatment involves removing the restorative crown and cleaning out the root canals. The root canal area is then repacked and a new restorative crown is placed on top. Root canal retreatment is vary similar to the original root canal procedure and is usually completed in 1-3 visits.

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