Root Canals

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root  Canal therapy is a treatment modality that is indicated whenever the nerve space within your tooth has been invaded or damaged.  The root canal treatment is a process in which we essentially remove the damaged nerve and vasculature, clean out and sanitize the space, and fill it in with a filling material.  The end result is  basically a "cleaned-out" tooth.   There are many reasons why root canal therapy might be a recommended treatment option.  One is for tooth decay.  Sometimes when decay on a tooth is extensive and has reached the nerve space, then the nerve space is considered to be contaminated and root canal therapy is indicated.  Other examples can include a fractured or cracked tooth.  In these cases, the trauma to the tooth can cause the pulpal tissue to die or become so inflammed that root canal treatment is necessary.  Also, a fracture on a tooth may allow a pathway for bacteria to invade the nerve space, at which time root canal treatment is indicated.  Many people have a perception that root canal treatment is a horrible experience.  With the techniques that we use at Klein Family Dental, root canal treatment can be a very comfortable experience.  Please allow us the opportunity to discuss with you why root canal treatment may be an excellent restorative option for you.

Root Canal Success Rate

The success rate for teeth treated with root canal therapy is actually very high. One of the most important parts about the success of root canal treatment is concluding the procedure with a proper final restoration.  In the back of the mouth this restoration most always will be a crown. The determination of the best final restoration is made on a case by case basis.  We would need the chance to evaluate your specific case in order to give you a professional recommendation. 

The above picture shows how a fracture, or cavity can damage the internal nerve of a tooth. Many times we can even see the abscess on an x-ray!

This picture shows the basic procedural steps of root canal therapy.  The first picture shows an injured tooth, and the second picture show the tooth being opened up and the cleaning process of the never canal.  The third picture shows the canal space being filled with a filling material, and the last picture shows the tooth being restored with a beautiful new crown to prevent fracturing.  The little white spike down the root canal space in the final picture is a "post."  Sometimes these are indicated to properly retain the crown.  Dr. Aric or Dr. Amy will discuss this procedure with you if it is needed in your case.