Root Canals


Root canals or endodontics deals with the inner part of the tooth, the nerve of the tooth.  When decay proceeds deep into the dentin it causes inflammation and necrosis of the nerve of the tooth which causes pain and can lead to an infection in the bone if left long enough untreated.  Repeated bite trauma can also cause the nerve of a tooth to die and require root canal treatment.  A root canal is a very simple procedure which involves removing the infected tissue and then filling the empty space with material to seal off any more bacterial invasion.

Newer technology allows us to complete a root canal in one visit in half the time as previously done.  A silent rotary drill is used with small successive files to clean the canals, then an antiseptic solution is used to flush out bacteria.  It is then sealed and usually a crown is placed on the tooth to seal off all margins of the tooth preventing any further contamination.  RCT is not 100% guaranteed.  The success of the treatment depends on the amount of infection present and the length of time the tooth has been inflamed.  

We now employ ozone treatment when doing root canals.  We use the water to irrigate the canals and the gas to perfuse the many side canals that can't effectively be cleaned by just irrigation fluids.  This greatly enhances the prognosis of the tooth since ozone kills bacteria viruses fungus and parasites on contact without any harmful side effects or toxic residues like the traditional irrigating solutions.

A tooth that has just had a root canal will feel achy for 3-5 days.  Ibuprofen works the best to relieve this discomfort.  X-rays will be taken periodically to evaluate the success of the treatment.

Occasionally a root canal treated tooth, will fail/ become reinfected.  A specialist will evaluate the tooth and prescribe the recommended treatment.  Many times it can be retreated or an additional procedure called an apicoectomy can be performed.  This entails the specialist surgically removing the tip of the tooth where the infection remains.