Root Canal Therapy

A root canal is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed by your dentist and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. Talk to Dr. Shatto or Dr. Lagrange about the benefits of getting a root canal over simply pulling the tooth.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
  • Infection or abcess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth

After the tooth is “numbed”, a small opening is made into the pulp chamber. Then the unhealthy nerve is removed and medication is placed in the tooth to treat the bacterial abscess (infection). After the infection is removed and treated, a filling is placed in the roots where the unhealthy nerve was.

The number of visits necessary at our office will vary depending upon the degree of infection, the number of canals in the tooth, if the canals are calcified, the anatomy of your tooth and the complexity of the procedure.