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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal (endodontic) therapy is the removal of the pulp tissue from the tooth. The pulp tissue refers to the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth, and it runs in a canal in the center of the tooth.

Root canal therapy may be necessary to save your natural tooth if the pulp tissue is irreversibly damaged by bacteria associated with decay, very deep fillings, tooth fracture or trauma, or periodontal disease. If the diseased pulp tissue is not removed, an abscess can form resulting in swelling and pain.  Without treatment, the tooth may have to be removed and this can create other more long lasting problems in the mouth. In general, saving a natural tooth is usually less expensive and provides a better result than trying to replace it with an artificial one.

After root canal therapy the tooth becomes very brittle because there is no longer blood supply to the tooth. Frequently a crown is necessary to prevent the tooth from breaking and to allow it to be functional for a long period of time.

Post Treatment

You have just had root canal therapy completed on your tooth. The procedures performed today include:

  • Removal of the pulp or nerve
  • Removal of bacteria from inside your tooth
  • Shaping and sealing of the canal space

If a temporary filling was placed the tooth will still need a permanent restoration.

It is common to experience some discomfort after the anesthesia has worn off, especially to chewing in that area. To keep you comfortable over the next few days we recommend that you take ibuprofen (Advil) two tablets, or 400 mg, every four hours for the next two days. If you cannot take this you may take Tylenol instead. If an antibiotic has been prescribed it is important to take this medication as directed until it is gone.

Unless directed, you will need to have a crown made to cover the tooth. After teeth have had root canal treatment they become very brittle and tend to break.  The placement of a crown will protect the tooth from fracture. Please call our office with any problems or questions that may arise.