We provide all endodontic procedures:
- Root Canal Treatment
- Root Canal Retreatment
- Endodontic Surgery
- Treatment of Cracked Teeth
- Treatment for Traumatic Dental Injuries
Endodontic treatments are dental procedures that fix problems inside a tooth. The most common type of endodontic treatment is root canal treatment. Inside the tooth, under the hard outer layers, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is very important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp.
Root Canal treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Signs that you may need root canal treatment include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling. Sometimes, however, you will experience no symptoms.
Root canal treatment removes inflamed or infected tissue to fix your tooth. Dr. Simpson will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of the canal, a channel inside the root, then fill and seal the space.
Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Endodontic treatment relieves pain.
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With the modern techniques and anesthetics that Dr. Simpson uses, most patients report that they are comfortable during the entire procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications that Dr. Simpson will recommend for you.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
Generally, root canal treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. An extracted tooth is usually replaced with a bridge or implant to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration. With root canal treatment you save your natural teeth and money.
Most root canal treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. Generally you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.
If you have trouble with a tooth that has had a root canal in the past, additional endodontic treatments can often save the tooth. When additional treatment is needed it is usually because new trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked, or broken filling have allowed new infection in your tooth. Very narrow or curved canals, or blockages present in the canals can also require additional treatment. In these cases, endodontic retreatment or surgery can often save your tooth.
**All images used on this page were reproduced with permission from the American Association of Endodontists.