Root Canal Treatment


What is a root canal?

A root canal is a type of restorative dental procedure that is designed to treat decay and other damage that occurs in the deep, central portion of the tooth called the pulp where blood vessels and nerves are found. A root canal is generally the preferred option to extraction because it enables the patient to retain the natural tooth.

How is a root canal performed?

Root canals are performed using similar techniques to those used in a routine cavity filling. Once the tooth is anesthetized, special instruments are used to reach into the tooth's central portion so the damaged area can be removed and the resulting hollow area can be carefully cleaned. The area will be sealed and then filled. Most teeth that undergo root canals will also receive a crown to help provide additional strength and protection to the tooth. A temporary crown is usually applied first while the permanent crown is being made at a dental lab. Once the permanent crown is complete, patients will come in for a second visit to remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one.

How will I feel after my root canal?

Today's root canal techniques are designed to minimize discomfort during and after the procedure. Once the root canal is complete, patients can manage any discomfort they do feel with pain relievers.

Why is it better to have a root canal than to have the tooth pulled?

Generally speaking, it's always better to preserve a natural tooth whenever possible to avoid disrupting the natural bite pattern. Just one missing tooth can trigger a cascade of events that can potentially cause additional tooth loss over times. Plus, removing a tooth and then replacing it with a denture, bridge, or dental implant can be a much more complex and costly procedure.

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~ Lincolnton, North Carolina 28092

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