A root canal is a procedure that can help restore the interior of a tooth to relieve pain and save your smile. This treatment is needed when the nerve of the tooth is affected by decay or infection. A root canal saves your tooth by replacing the infected tissue with a rubber-like material, which is later protected with a filling and crown. When the process is completed, the tooth is restored to its full function.

The Best Option

A root canal is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. Because root canals have a reputation of being painful, many patients believe that removing the tooth is a better solution. What they don’t realize is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth compared to the root canal procedure. Also, with advancements in dental pain management processes, most people find the root canal experience to be more comfortable than they expected.

Root canal procedures are necessary when:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • An infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • There was an injury or trauma to the tooth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful.

Signs and symptoms for possible need for root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness in the gum area around the tooth.

Sometimes there are no specific symptoms but your dentist has diagnosed an issue that requires this treatment.

The Root Canal Treatment Process

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and is performed in our office by our highly trained and experienced dentists. During the first appointment:

  • The area around the tooth is numbed to avoid discomfort.
  • While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.
  • An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.
  • A permanent filling will be placed over the tooth when possible.
  • Sometimes a temporary filling will be placed on the tooth and a permanent crown or filling will be put in place at a later appointment.

After treatment your tooth may be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.


See what our patients are saying!

  • On 23 August I had oral surgery with Dr. Petrone for about 3 hours removing all my upper teeth in which about 5 of them had to be surgically removed, 4 implants installed and then stitched up. Dr. Petrone is a professional and did a great job, I would recommend him to anyone who needs dental work. His administrative staff is also outstanding as the way they assist patients.

    Richard C.
  • I didn’t feel rushed with my questions and felt like the staff really cared! The front desk staff was awesome as well. I found a forever dentist.

    Brandy Hodge
  • This is a great group of people. I look forward to every visit. The staff is amazing! I’ve had a lot of work done here over the last year or so and every penny was well spent.

    Robb G.

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