A Root Canal is a dental procedure to fix a tooth by removing the
pulp chamber of the tooth and filling it with a suitable filling
material. A root canal is usually performed when the tooth cannot be
filled or restored any other way because the decay has reached the root
of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. Fortunately, with the
advent of modern science and technology, the procedure can be
Common Causes: the tiny canals contain the pulp of
the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from
the pulp chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve can result in
the need for root canal therapy. Common reasons for root canal therapy
- Tooth decay invades the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and
then the dentin in to the pulp.
- A tooth has become infected from decay.
- Trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth, occurs and results in
the exposure of the nerve.
- A tooth is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not
result in the need for corrective treatment at the time of injury.
Procedure: root canal therapy can be performed in
single or multiple visits. Before the procedure, though, your dentist
will advise you as to the number of appointments necessary to complete
the canal. If you had an infection or abscess in the tooth, the dentist
may choose to have you start antibiotics before completing the root
canal. Your dentist will begin the appointment by giving you local
anesthetic to "numb" the tooth that is being worked on.
After your tooth is "numb", you may expect the following procedures:
- A dental x-ray of the tooth, displaying the entire tooth in the
film (called a "periapical x-ray"), is taken for the dentist to refer
to during the procedure.
- The dentist will place a rubber dam over your mouth. This plastic
shield, made from either latex or non-latex materials, is used to keep
the tooth isolated from your saliva and very dry before the final steps
are taken to complete the procedure. The dentist will use different
chemical solutions to disinfect the inside of the tooth. The rubber dam
is helpful in keeping these solutions from entering your mouth.
- Next, the dentist will begin the procedure by drilling a small hole
through the tooth in to the area known as the pulp chamber — this is
where the nerve of the tooth is located.
- Your dentist will begin using tiny files, which are designed to
remove the nerve from the tooth and any infected tissue. Certain files
can be used by hand; others are connected to a slower moving dental
hand piece, called a "rotary instrument." The dentist may require
another x-ray at this point to determine the length of the root. It is
critical that the entire nerve is removed to prevent toothaches after
the procedure and re-infection of the tooth, which would result in the
need for retreatment or extraction of the tooth. In order to prevent
this, the dentist needs to get as close to the tip, or apex of the
tooth, to remove all of the nerve. This is usually the longest part of
- Once the dentist is confident that the entire tooth has been
cleaned out, the tooth is dried with tiny absorbent paper points. When
completely dry, the dentist will place a specially designed rubber
material called "gutta percha" to seal the inside of the tooth.
- Your dentist will remove any remaining decay from the tooth and
will decide to either put a temporary filling on to close the tooth or
proceed with placing a permanent filling. If your root canal is
performed by an endodontist, he will place a temporary restoration and
send you back to your general dentist for the restoration. Chances are,
your dentist will recommend having a crown put on to the tooth. Since
the nerve and blood supply to the tooth has been taken away, the tooth
may become brittle over time, resulting in a cracked tooth. A crown is
designed to prevent this from happening.
Recovery: when the local anaesthetic has worn off,
your tooth may be sore from the procedure. Your dentist may recommend a
pain reliever to take at home, and depending on the circumstances
behind your root canal, antibiotics may be prescribed to clear up any
remaining infection in the tooth. If you were on antibiotics before the
procedure, your dentist will instruct you to finish the remaining
"We guarantee that you will have something to smile about"
I recently visited Stevenson Dental Centre in Oshawa as a result of seeing a Smile Canada commercial. My experience was fantastic!! Their clinic was new, clean, and comfortable! The receptionist was friendly and accomodating. The hygenist was gentle and caring. The dentist was thorough and informative. I also had my 3yr old son with me for his first visit and it was absolutely wonderful. He came home and the first thing he did was
brush his teeth with his new toothbrush and toothpaste because "the dentist said I had to brush my teeth all the time." Before leaving, the staff informed me that although my plan covers me for cleaning each 9mths, I am also entitled to scaling on a more frequent basis. Appointments for each were made before I left the office. As a working mother, I am very pleased that the office is open on evenings and on Saturdays. I'm very happy I called Smile Canada to set my Dentist appointment up for myself and my family. They did a good job referring me to a Dental Clinic that made our experience a pleasant one.