Root Canal Therapy 101


Sometimes, along our oral health journey, we face challenges such as tooth decay. While most of the time a simple filling will get us right back on the road to health, other times it can become so bad that additional intervention is needed. When tooth decay is left untreated and an abscess or infection develops, it can quickly become serious and cause a lot of pain. In the worst cases, it can even put a person’s health at risk.

The Problem

Tooth decay is no laughing matter. Yes, it is a common problem and can be easily treated if caught early, but when it is left to fester, it can get deep into the tooth root, where the pulp is (the blood vessels and nerves that keep the tooth alive), which can then become infected. Once tooth decay reaches this point, the pain and discomfort alone are usually unbearable, making it hard to chew or speak. Additionally, when a tooth becomes infected and the infection is not treated, it puts the other teeth, the gums, the jawbone, and your overall health at risk. That is why it is extremely important to contact us at the first sign of a tooth infection.

How do I know if I have an infected tooth?

Typically, tooth pain is the first sign of a problem. Facial swelling, swelling in the neck, tooth discoloration, and prolonged sensitivity to cold and heat are also signs that should not be ignored. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us immediately.

Root Canal Therapy to the Rescue!

Once tooth decay progresses to the point where it has reached the tooth pulp, a filling will no longer be sufficient to prevent it from spreading further. Instead, Dr. James will recommend Root Canal Therapy in order to keep the decay and infection from spreading and to preserve as much of the tooth as possible.

Here's how it works:

  1. After a thorough examination of the tooth, including digital X-rays, Dr. James numbs the area.
  2. He then makes an opening in the tooth so he can reach and clean out all the decay.
  3. Next, Dr. James uses instruments to completely remove all the decayed tissue from the tooth, washing out the area out as he proceeds.
  4. Once the tooth is cleaned out, he fills it with a fast-acting antibiotic to clear out any infection and stop it from spreading further.
  5. Finally, Dr. James seals up the hole in the tooth.

In many cases, the tooth structure will have been severely compromised by the decay and a cap or crown will be needed to restore it to its previous shape.

No Need to Fear

In the past, root canal therapy could be a painful and drawn-out process. That is no longer the case! With new advancements in dental procedures, root canal therapy can be carried out with little to no pain and a quick recovery.

If you have a toothache or suspect you may have an infection in one of your teeth, contact our office right away for an appointment.

Request Your Appointment Today!

(972) 833-8978