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Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal (Endodontic) Therapy

Root canal therapy is also called endodontic treatment.  It is a dental procedure used to control pain and infection of a suffered tooth.  When a tooth is severely decayed or otherwise damaged, bacteria may enter the pulp causing pulpitis.  Acute pulpitis is one of the most common emergency dental procedures, and root canal treatment is required to save the tooth.

What Causes Pulpitis?

  1. Tooth decay (cavities) that is not treated for extended period of time, and it penetrates through enamel and dentin layers and eventually invades the pulp.  Once inside the pulp, bacteria proliferate rapidly causing pain, infection and abscess. 
  2. Trauma to the tooth.  This can happen as a result of many forms of accident when sudden force hit the tooth causing physical damage to the nerve and blood vessels at the root ending.  Physical damage to the tooth may or may not be obvious.
  3. Crack or chip to the tooth.  When a sudden heavy biting force is applied to a tooth, it may cause fracture or chip.  If the chip is small, it can be repaired to filling, but if the chip is large and deep, root canal maybe needed.  A tooth with large filling is more easily cracked.  If a tooth is severely cracked, it cannot be saved by root canal treatment, and it has to be extracted. 


How is Root Canal Treatment Done?

Local anesthesia is often needed to numb the affected tooth before the procedure.  During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and canals inside the roots are carefully cleaned and disinfected.  A rubber-like material called gutta-percha is used to seal the canals. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a post and a crown for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

What to Expect after Root Canal treatment?

  • Most patients don’t complain any discomfort after root canal treatment.  However, there are about a few percent do feel some sort of post-treatment sensitivity, which can be controlled by OTC pain killer such as Motrin. 
  • Temporary filling may break up.  If only part of the filling breaks, it should be okay to wait until your next visit.  If all temporary filling is gone, please call us to replace it.
  • To avoid tooth fracture, don’t use the treated tooth to chew heavy food because it is very brittle. If you fracture it, extraction is the only solution.


Restoring Root Canal Treated Tooth

  • Often times, the tooth has suffered severe damage before root canal treatment is needed.  After root canal the tooth becomes brittle and hollow.  Therefore, a post and a crown are needed to restore the tooth to its original strength.
  • Together with the core buildup materials, a post is placed inside one of the canals to fill the hollow space of root canal treated tooth.  It is needed to support the crown.
  • A crown is required to provide support to the weakened tooth as well as to seal the tooth from bacteria leakage.
  • The crown should be done when the tooth has no obvious symptoms. 


How to Prevent Toothache?

  • Improve oral hygiene, and visit us regularly for checkup and cleaning.
  • If cavities are found, you should have them filled soon to prevent further decay.
  • If X-Ray confirms that a tooth has infection, you should schedule root canal treatment with us before you have acute pain. 


Why Choose Centre Dental for Toothache and Root Canal Treatment?

  1. Dr Shi and Dr Yeung are highly trained to perform root canal treatment, and we have the most advanced dental equipment to provide accurate diagnosis and comfortable treatment.
  2. When you have a toothache, you can reach one of the doctors right away, even after hours by phone, email, text messaging, WeChat, and our online consultation, all for free.
  3. If there is any chance to avoid root canal treatment, we will do conservative and protective procedures first.  Doing so, we have avoided many borderline cases.
  4. We offer free online as well as in-office consultation.