Root Canal

Invisalign North York - Root Canal

When deep microbial invasion from tooth caries (decay) occurs, root canal treatment or endodontic treatment may be needed to keep your tooth longer and to prevent unpleasant missing teeth

What is Root Canal treatment?

Root canal is the process by which infected, injured or dead pulp (nerve) is removed. It involves cleaning and shaping the root canals by small files and irrigating solutions which decontaminate the canals. Then the hollow canal is filled with an inert material called gutta percha.

Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Bad pain or swelling is NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist immediately.

What are the steps involved in root canal treatment?

A thorough medical and dental screening will be done. It is important to disclose any medical condition, allergies, pills (medications) or over the counter remedies you are taking.

A series of x-rays will be taken at the beginning, during and after the treatment.

After an assessment a diagnosis will be disclosed and possible treatment choices will be provided and explained to you. You will then be given the choice to decide what treatment you think is best to proceed with. Potentially it could include, but not restricted to, cementing a post into the canal to help support the build up core and the crown.

You will receive topical anesthetic (gel) followed by local anesthetic (freezing).

To prevent your tooth gets more contamination from bacteria in your saliva during the treatment, a rubber dam (latex free) around the tooth is placed.

Then an opening in the tooth is done to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp.

Using very fine files, the damaged pulp is removed by cleaning and shaping the root canal system.

After the canal has been cleaned and dried a filling (gutta percha) material is placed in to seal the canal.

The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.

4 to 5 weeks after a root canal treatment, your tooth may receive a crown. Teeth that had received root canal treatment will become brittle very prone to fracture and will likely need a crown to protect the tooth against strong chewing force.

Will a root canal prevent further decay?

Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage as gingivitis or caries (decay). Unfortunately, if a crown is not placed the tooth is in high risk for fracture. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as possible.

What if my tooth cannot be saved?

Most of the time, a tooth can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled). When a vertical fracture has been found along the crown into the roots of your tooth or when tooth decay is too extensive and your tooth is deemed not restorable then an extraction may be the only treatment. If extraction is done, a dental implant or a bridge could restore the missing tooth.

Most root canal treatments are successful. But in some rare cases, when symptoms return or a shadow on the x-ray is seeing after some years, a second root canal treatment is needed. This is called re-treatment. When re-treating a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out, and the canal is again cleaned, reshaped and refilled. If this occurs your dentist will refer you to a specialist.

If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact North York family dentist Dr. Nubia Diaz for a root canal consultation at Stonebrook Dental (416) 636-4227 or email us stonebrookdental@rogers.com