Root Canals

Assorted dental tools on a tray.

At times, a tooth becomes badly decayed or becomes infected and requires a root canal to save the tooth. A root canal procedure removes the nerve and pulp tissue inside the tooth which is then cleaned and sealed. When the pulp tissue is damaged or infected, bacteria begins to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria can cause an infection or abscess tooth. Also, an infection of the pulpal tissue can cause swelling that may spread into other areas of your body. The tooth’s pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

The root canal can be performed by our team at Barksdale Dental or may be referred out to an endodontist, specializing in root canals. The procedure may take multiple visits to complete. Root canals are performed with anesthetic and are generally painless procedures. The nerve chamber is accessed so the bacteria and nerve tissue can be removed and tooth structure cleaned. Once completed, the tooth will be sealed or treated for infection. If the procedure isn’t finished the first day, you will be given a temporary filling to protect the tooth and prevent infection. Finally, you will receive a permanent filling or crown to complete the restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs root canal therapy often is one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown, crown and post, or other restoration often needs to be placed to protect it, prevent it from breaking and restore it to full function. Your dentist will discuss the need for any additional dental work.

For more information related to the root canal procedure and after-treatment, please visit the American Association of Endodontists.