Root Canal Therapy

“Root canal” is one of the most feared phrases in dentistry, with the therapy having a reputation as being one of the most painful and complex treatments possible.

While in the past it was certainly not one of the most pleasant tooth restorations available, nowadays, improvements in technology mean that root canal surgery is a straightforward, relatively painless procedure that can save your affected tooth.

What is root canal therapy, and why is it needed?

Root canal therapy is the only treatment that deals with infections within the dental pulp, which is the deepest part of the tooth.

Root canal infections occur when decay has been left untreated for so long that it has managed to penetrate through the outer and middle layers of the tooth to the root canal, which is contained within the pulp.

Root canals are long, thread-like strands that run through the length of the tooth. While some teeth have just one root canal, others may have several. When the infection permeates the root canal, it stops the flow of blood and nutrients to the tooth. Left untreated, the tooth will eventually die and fall out.

Unlike other varieties of infection, antibiotics are not successful in treating root canal infections. Instead, it is only root canal therapy that can remove the infection from within the tooth, helping you to avoid tooth loss, or the need for extraction.

Symptoms of a root canal infections

The symptoms of dental infections often don’t become apparent, until they reach greater severity. Some of the first signs of a root canal infection include:

  • Pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking particularly hot or cold items.

  • Pain when chewing or biting.

Over time, the symptoms tend to become more obvious and you may experience:

  • Swelling in the gum around the infected tooth

  • Swelling of your face and jaw on the side of the infected tooth

  • The presence of pus or oozing liquid from the infected tooth

  • The tooth darkening in color as the blood supply is cut from it

You should seek professional attention as soon as you start to experience symptoms that you think may be related to a dental cavity or root canal infection.

What happens during root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy takes place over two appointments in our modern, comfortable offices.

During the first part of your therapy, you will have the root canals of your teeth exposed and cleaned using our precision tools. A temporary cavity filling or crown will then be used to cap the top of the tooth so that bacteria cannot re-enter the tooth.

You will then be given another appointment to attend, which will be around a week later. At this appointment, the temporary cap will be removed so that Dr. Tarantino can check your root canals to ensure that all traces of the infection have been removed. Once he is satisfied the infection has cleared, he will place a permanent filling or crown on to your tooth which will stop the infection from re-occurring.

Root canal therapy is normally performed under a local anesthetic, and while you may feel some pressure during the procedure, you will not be in any pain. If you are a particularly nervous patient, we may be able to sedate you for your root canal therapy. Please ask us about sedation dentistry at the time of your consultation.

Dr. Tarantino has performed countless root canal therapies with success. His expert knowledge combined with his compassionate demeanor means that we will do the most to provide a safe and pain-free treatment experience. Don’t delay, maintain your smile by making your appointment at our modern, comfortable office today.