Endodontic & Root Canal Treatment
Our dentists at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford perform root canal treatment to save a damaged and infected tooth.
What is a root canal?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, damaged or dead pulp from your tooth.
The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your teeth grow and develop.
When bacteria enters your tooth through deep cavities or cracks, your tooth can become abscessed. An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. An abscessed tooth may cause pain and/or swelling. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.
What are signs that I need root canal treatment?
- Inflammation and tenderness in the gums
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold foods
- Tenderness when chewing and biting
- Tooth discoloration
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes
Experiencing These Symptoms? Get in touch right away to book an appointment.
What are some of the main causes of inner tooth damage?
Oral bacteria is the most common cause of endodontic problems. Bacteria invade the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the teeth caused by tooth decay or injury.
The resulting inflammation and bacterial infection jeopardize the affected tooth and may cause an abscess to form.
Fractures & Chips
When a large part of the surface or crown of the tooth has become completely detached, root canal treatment may be required. The removal of the crown portion leaves the pulp exposed, which can be debilitating, painful, and problematic.
Injuries to the teeth can be caused by a direct or indirect blow to the mouth. Some injuries can cause a tooth to become luxated, or dislodged from its socket.
Root canal treatment is often needed after the endodontist has stabilized the injured tooth.
The Treatment Process
Root canal treatment usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete x-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins.
Initially, a local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments.
The space will be shaped, cleaned and filled with gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material that is somewhat similar to rubber. Cement will be applied on top to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed off. Usually, a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure.
During the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed.