Root Canal Therapy


A root canal is a treatment of the center of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead. The center of the tooth, called the pulp, is a soft substance that consists of nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue. Symptoms for needing an endodontic procedure or root canal therapy may include pain in the tooth, pain, swelling, or infection in the adjacent gums, tooth discoloration, tenderness of the tooth to biting pressure, or hot/cold sensitivity that lingers.

Our dentists will take an x-ray of the tooth and examine the tooth to determine if you need root canal therapy. Antibiotics may be prescribed and the root canal appointment will be arranged. Most root canals can be filled in one appointment. Additional appointments may be needed to restore strength to the tooth with a filling or crown.

Before starting root canal therapy, local anesthesia will be administered to ensure your complete comfort. A small opening is made at the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the root canal that is removed from the chamber and canals. The canals are then cleaned with instruments and a disinfecting solution.

Once the canals are thoroughly cleaned, they are filled with gutta percha, a rubber-like material to protect and seal. A temporary filling may be placed in the opening until it can be replaced by a permanent filling. Additional appointments are usually needed to restore strength to the tooth with a filling and/or crown.

After the procedure, most people have little or no pain. Some may feel sensitivity for a few days. This discomfort may be relieved with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until you have a full restoration.

Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with our dentists to ensure your treatment is healing correctly. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene daily. If a problem occurs, contact our dental office in Homewood.