Root Canal Therapy

We know that nobody ever wants to hear that they need a root canal. But we also think that it’s time to shed some light on this misunderstood dental procedure.

People tend to associate root canal therapy with pain, which isn’t actually an accurate assessment. The truth is that while the condition that makes a root canal necessary is quite painful, the procedure itself is no more complicated or uncomfortable than a filling, thanks to improvements in dental technologies and techniques. A root canal will relieve your pain and allows us to save a tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted.

Dr. Aldrich is committed to performing skillful, comfortable, efficient, and successful root canals to relieve your pain, save your tooth, and restore your dental health.

What Is a Root Canal?

It may help to know what exactly a root canal is. The name itself is a little scary and may conjure up some worrisome images.

In fact, the procedure is named after the part of your tooth that it is designed to treat. Inside every tooth, beneath the hard enamel and the softer dentin, is a small chamber that houses the nerve of the tooth. The nerve runs from your jaw into this chamber through a canal in the root of your tooth – the root canal.

If this chamber becomes infected, it directly affects the nerve of your tooth, which is why a tooth infection is so painful. To treat the infection, we need to access the interior of your tooth, clean out the infected material and debris, remove the damaged nerve (which stops the pain), and then seal it up to prevent reinfection. This is the procedure known as the root canal.

When Will the Pain Go Away?

After your root canal is complete, you may experience some discomfort once the anesthetic wears off. This is normal, and it’s left over from your body’s immune response to the infection. Within a day or so, your immune system will get the message that the infection is gone, and the inflammatory response (and associated discomfort) will fade away.

Following your root canal treatment, your tooth may become brittle. This occurs because we had to remove the nerve. We may recommend placing a crown over the tooth – particularly if the tooth handles a lot of chewing – to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

If you are in pain, please call our Waterloo dental office right away. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, and we will want to perform an examination to identify the source of the pain and treat it. Ignoring the pain is not a good choice. Treating a problem earlier rather than later prevents the problem from getting worse and requiring even more extensive and invasive treatment.