Root Canal Therapy

The specialty of Endodontics, root canal therapy, is a common dental procedure that can save natural teeth and prevent the need for additional dental work such as dental implants and bridges.

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association that involves the treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. Likewise, an Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in maintaining teeth through endodontic treatments – procedures involving the soft inner tissue of teeth.

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What is a root canal?

When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion that is hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves.

Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, malocclusion, grinding at night or during stress, deep decay, cracks, and chips, or even repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of an infection are identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the infected pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

Root canal therapy usually involves local anesthesia to eliminate any discomfort, and, when necessary, Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry is equipped to provide nitrous oxide analgesia. The procedure will usually be completed in one visit, however, it may take a second visit  depending on the issue and necessary treatment. In general, patients report feeling comfortable enough to return to their normal routine after treatment.

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An example of a healthy tooth
Healthy Tooth
A tooth anatomy diagram highlighting pulp dentin and canal
Tooth Anatomy
A visual of tooth inflammation showing tooth decay and an inflamed pulp
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Cleaned Canals
An illustration of root canal filling of a tooth
Filling Placed
An example of a tooth healed by root canal therapy
Healed Tooth