Information about Root Canals

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What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment used by your dentist that works to correct tooth decay and damaged pulp. Tooth pulp contains connective tissue along with nerves and blood vessels. It can be found in the center of a tooth. Root canal therapy is most often used when the tooth decay has reached the nerve of the tooth within the tooth canal, as well as when the decay leads to a more serious infection inside the pulp.

The average tooth contains 1- 4 canals but it is possible for teeth to have more than 4. When this happens, they are considered "Accessory Canals." If tooth decay is left untreated, symptoms start to get more severe. As decay sits in the tooth, over time bacteria will work deeper into the tooth and can possibly affect the pulp tissue. It is more common in chipped and/or cracked teeth because with openings in the protective enamel coating, bacteria have a better chance of getting through to the tooth's pulp. In an even worse situation, the infection can lead through to the surrounding gum and bone causing a higher chance of developing an abscessed tooth and possibly oral cancer.

Common signs that may mean you need a root canal:

Common signs that one may need a root canal vary depending on how much bacteria enters through the tooth canal. Although pain will most likely appear, there are also many cases where pain is nonexistent or on and off. Because of this, it is often hard to pinpoint exactly where the pain of the tooth is coming from which is why it is crucial to have a specialist properly diagnose it.

Common signs include:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Pain in gum
  • Tooth sensitivity with hot or cold liquids
  • Pressure sensitivity with eating/biting
  • Pain with small movements of teeth
  • Loss of bone around the roots tip
  • Swelling of gums, neck, face or even head
  • Injury to the mouth
  • Infection
  • Having multiple fillings or restorations

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to see a dentist specialist as soon as possible to perform a proper examination. We have specialists who focus heavily on root canal therapy and will provide the most effective and painless treatment possible. Root canal therapy is one of the most routine procedures and can often be completed in only one visit.

Possible ways to avoid needing a root canal:

  • Consistent flossing
  • Avoid chewing on ice
  • Limit citrus juices that contain high levels of acidity
  • Brush at least 2 times a day
  • Limit intake of hard foods that require a lot of chewing
  • Floss and use mouthwash after meals
  • Drink plenty of water



Root Canal Treatment offered at the following offices:



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