Root Canal Treatment




​​​​​​​Improvements in root canal technique, anesthetic and the tools used to perform the procedure mean that root canal treatment has a bit of an undeserved reputation. Although it was once considered to be one of the most painful procedures someone could undergo at the dentist, modern innovations mean that today, a root canal surgery is rarely any more painful than a cavity filling.

The anatomy of a tooth

Each tooth is made up of three different layers. The outer layer, the one you can see, is the hardest and is enamel. The middle layer is slightly softer and known as dentin. The very center of the tooth is very soft and called the pulp. It is the pulp part of your tooth that contains one – or more – root canals. The root canal system extends from the crown of the tooth right into the end of the root, and it contains all of the nutrients, blood vessels and nerves needed to keep your tooth healthy and pain-free. However, when bacteria get into the pulp part of your tooth, it can cause the root canal system to become infected. If this happens, root canal treatment will be required.

What does a root canal treatment involve?

To understand what happens during a root canal, it is first important to understand the structure of the tooth.

Root canal procedure

The procedure for root canal treatment is relatively straightforward. Under a local anesthetic, your mouth is numbed and your dentist will be able to drill down through your tooth to access your root canal. Then, specialized tools are used to clear all debris and bacteria out from inside the root canal, eradicating the infection. One we are happy that we have removed the infection, your tooth will be covered with a cavity filling or crown and given time to settle. You can then return to our offices around seven days later where we will check that the infection has completely cleared, and we can then seal the tooth permanently to prevent bacteria from re-entering.

I am very nervous, can I be sedated?

We understand that anxiety about dental treatments is very common. We would like all of our patients to feel calm and reassured during their time with us, and to this end, it may be possible for your to be sedated during your root canal procedure. Please ask us about our sedation services during your consultation.

Symptoms of a root canal infection

Dental infections can spread very quickly, often even before the first symptoms are noticed. In the early days, a root canal infection may cause:

- Extreme sensitivity to hot/cold food

- Pain when biting or chewing

- A tooth that seems wobbly or loose

In the more advanced stages of infection, the early symptoms may fade and be replaced by:

- Facial swelling

- A return of pain when biting or chewing

- Swelling in the gum around the affected tooth

- Oozing from the affected tooth

- The tooth darkening in color

In the past, a patient in the latter stages of dental infection may well have lost their tooth. However, root canal surgery can now give you a strong chance of retaining your natural tooth and enjoying great oral health once more.

Dr. Haws and his team have the skill and experience necessary to deliver first class root canal treatment and patient care. To find out more about root canal, or to discuss any of our other services, please do not hesitate to call us at 435-919-5100.