Root Canal Therapy

Home / Root Canal Therapy

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your tooth grow and develop.

A healthy tooth.

When bacteria (germs) enter your tooth through deep cavities, cracks or flawed fillings, your tooth can become abscessed. An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. An abscessed tooth may cause pain and/or swelling. Your dentist may notice the infection from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.

An abscessed tooth.

Who does this procedure?

Your dentist may do root canal treatment or refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in endodontics. Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

If your child’s primary (baby) tooth is damaged, your dentist may refer you to a pediatric dentist for this procedure. A pediatric dentist has at least 2 years of extra university training in treating children

How is a root canal treatment done?

The dentist gives you a local anesthetic (freezing).

To protect your tooth from bacteria in your saliva during the treatment, the dentist places a rubber dam around the tooth being treated.

The dentist makes an opening in the tooth to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp.

Using very fine dental instruments, the dentist removes the pulp by cleaning and enlarging the root canal system.

After the canal has been cleaned, the dentist fills and seals the canal.

The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.

The Root Canal Procedure

The dentist will create tiny access opening in the top part of the tooth. Different instruments called endo files will be used to find the canals and clean the pulp tissue. At the end,  canals will be filled with special filling material to seal the canals of your tooth.

A permanent filling will then be used to fill the tooth.

This procedure is done when the core of the tooth, the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed.

The most common symptoms of the infected pulp include toothache, swelling, and severe sensitivity to heat and/or cold. The surrounding area may also be sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures.

A severe toothache can make eating or speaking a painful ordeal, not to mention lead to abscesses, so it’s important to check with your dentist if you have these symptoms.

By performing a root canal, your dentist can relieve these symptoms and repair infection. In some cases, the procedure can save your tooth from needing to be extracted.

How is a tooth restored after root canal treatment

After a root canal treatment, your tooth has to be restored (fixed) to look, feel and work as much like a natural tooth as possible. If an endodontist performed your root canal treatment, he or she will fill the opening of the tooth with a temporary filling and send you back to your dentist or prosthodontist for tooth restoration.

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who restores and replaces teeth using crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Your dentist or specialist may use a permanent filling or a crown to restore your tooth. The choice of restoration will depend on the strength of the part of the tooth that’s left. A back tooth will likely need a crown because chewing puts a great deal of force on back teeth. If there is not enough of the tooth left, posts may be used to help support the crown.

Joint Public Statement on Root Canal Treatment from the Canadian Dental Association and Canadian Academy of Endodontics

Schedule your appointment today if you are looking for root canal therapy in Burnaby.

Dental X-ray Madison Dental Studio