Root Canal Therapy

Illustration

Root canal therapy (also known as root canal treatment, a pulpectomy, endodontic treatment or simply, a root canal) involves the cleaning out and refilling of the root canal.
The tooth can be broken down into two sections:● The crown is the visible portion of the tooth and is made of a tough enamel exterior and a dentine interior.● The root contains one or more canals that are filled with pulp tissue. This tissue or pulp is made up of nerves and blood vessels. The nerves are responsible for sending stimuli to the brain and the blood vessels provide the nutrients necessary for the construction and maintenance of healthy teeth.

The pulp can become infected if bacteria from a decaying tooth get into the canal through a deep cavity. In this case, root canal therapy is necessary. Severe tooth decay is not always the reason for root canal therapy (severe trauma to the mouth, for instance, can damage the root systems of one or more teeth), but more often than not, it is.

Infected pulp will soon become inflamed if allowed to go without treatment, causing sharp pain, the death of the tooth, and potentially a rather nasty and painful infection. In extreme circumstances, the infected canal can cause the tooth to weaken to the point of breaking and also damage the surrounding bone. Dr. Clark will work with you to avoid these more severe consequences where at all possible.

Cleaning Out the Canal

Alleviating the pain and saving the tooth requires the removal of any infected pulp tissue and the cleaning and subsequent disinfection of the canal. To do this, Dr. Clark will make a small hole in the crown of the tooth to provide access to the canal(s). A very fine file-like instrument is then used to clean the pulp out of the root and enlarge the canal. Irrigating solutions make sure that none of the infected material remains inside.

Filling the Canal

The clean and disinfected opening is then filled with a durable and biocompatible material (meaning it is non-toxic and promotes the recovery of healthy tissue), which seals off the root canal.

Covering the Canal

At this point, all that remains is to restore the tooth with some form of cap. Depending on the strength and amount of remaining tooth, Dr. Clark may recommend a filling or a crown. If the remaining portion of the tooth is too weak to support a crown safely, metal posts can be inserted, which enhance the integrity of the tooth.

Request a consultation

If you are experiencing dental pain including but not limited to extreme sensitivity to hot, cold or biting, let us know as soon as possible and we will give you the relief you need. Contact Niagara-on-the-Lake Dental today for an appointment!