Root canals are a dental procedure needed when there is irreparable damage to the tooth’s pulp.

Usually caused by deep cavities, decay, or trauma. Once the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it can cause extreme pain and sensitivity.

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Root Canals

The pulp of the tooth is the top portion of the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains the nerve, blood vessels, and tissue. When a deep cavity has reached the tooth’s pulp, the bacteria can travel down the tooth canal and create an infection at the base of the root, causing an abscess or gum boil to form on the gums.

If you do not treat the infection promptly, tooth loss may occur, and the infection can lead to more serious systemic issues that will harm your overall health. Trauma to a tooth can also lead to the need for a root canal treatment as well.

In instances where a tooth has been exposed to a traumatic event, the nerve and blood vessels in the tooth can die, causing the tooth to die, in which the dead tissues need to be removed; otherwise, potential root resorption and infection can occur.

The general process of root canals:


Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area around the tooth and the tooth itself.

Rubber dam

A rubber dam will be placed onto the tooth with a clamp to secure it in place. The rubber dam helps isolate the tooth from any saliva that may contaminate the tooth’s root canal system due to bacteria.


If there are any cavities on the tooth, they will be removed before accessing the pulp of the tooth. If there isn’t decay on the tooth, a small hole in the top of the tooth will be made to access the pulp.

Cleaning the canals

Once the tooth is accessible, small files are used to remove the infected or damaged pulp from the root canals. They are then disinfected with specialized solutions, cleaned, and shaped with each subsequent file until reaching the desired canal width. Cleaning and shaping the canals removes the bacteria that have adhered to the root canal space of the tooth.


Once the canals are cleaned and shaped, we fill them with a material called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is coated with a bioceramic sealer made of biocompatible materials used to seal the canal space of the tooth to prevent further infection from bacteria.


After the root canal treatment, a temporary filling will be placed in the access hole. The final restoration for posterior teeth will be a buildup and crown to restore the tooth and protect it from potential fractures. Anterior teeth may be restored with a small filling if there is little to no loss of additional tooth structure from decay.

Root Canals

The root canal procedure typically takes between one and three visits to complete, depending on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the root canals. If root canals are deemed too difficult due to the root morphology, we will refer you to a root canals specialist, known as an Endodontist. After the procedure, the patient may experience some sensitivity and discomfort for a few days.

Sometimes, a tooth may not respond to root canal therapy or become re-infected after the procedure. In these cases, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant or bridge. Overall, root canals are a safe and effective way to treat infected or damaged teeth and preserve the natural tooth structure. With proper care, a tooth with a root canal can last for many years.