A root canal, or root canal therapy, is a common dental procedure used to save a tooth that has been damaged. Inside each of your teeth is a small bundle of nerves and blood vessels called the “pulp.” The pulp kept your tooth alive while it was growing when you were a child, and it also allows your teeth to sense pressure and temperature. Unfortunately, the pulp is very sensitive, and if your tooth is damaged it can be exposed to infection. Once this happens the pulp has to be removed with root canal therapy.
The actual root canal procedure is simple. We drill a small hole in your tooth and remove the pulp, then clean the inside of the tooth and close the hole with a filling. Depending on which tooth we are working on, we may place a crown over the tooth to restore and protect it.
Although root canals have a reputation for being painful, with modern dental technology and pain management the procedure is no more painful than getting a filling.
An infection in your pulp can be felt as a sharp in your tooth while you are chewing or when you eat something hot or cold. Infections can also be painless and can only be detected during a dental exam. Your best defence is to go for regular examinations.