Root Canal Therapy

What is a root canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.

At the centre of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth during development. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the gum, sensitivity to temperature/biting or pain in the tooth and gums.  Pain can even refer to your head, ear and neck on the same side as your infected tooth.

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment depends on many factors, but is generally high and a predictable outcome is likely. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is less predictable or unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or after exploration of your tooth during treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

An example of a healthy tooth
Healthy Tooth
A tooth anatomy diagram highlighting pulp dentin and canal
Tooth Anatomy
A visual of tooth inflammation showing tooth decay and a inflamed pulp
Inflammation
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Cleaned Canals
An illustration of root canal filling of a tooth
Filling Placed
An example of a tooth healed by root canal therapy
Healed Tooth

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your dentist. Your endodontist will discuss with you the need and timing for a new restoration.  Your dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available to answer any of your questions or refer to our General Instructions Page. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.