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Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment | Kew Dental | Dentist KewRoot canal treatment may be needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, trauma or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials.

Having a root canal done on a tooth may be the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise may have to be removed.  


Signs and symptoms for possible root canal treatment:

  • An abscess (or lump) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.


Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth. 


What does root canal treatment involve?


A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by Dr. Michael McIntyre or an endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, some teeth that have had root canal treatment should have a crown placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this should subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.