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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a treatment that helps repair and saves teeth that have severe decay or infection. The procedure is an effective alternative to having your tooth removed. This is a huge benefit because often removing a tooth can cause other oral health issues if a restoration is not placed.

Underneath the enamel and dentin of your teeth, there is a chamber that contains soft tissue known as pulp. This pulp is also found in the canals. It contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves that keep your tooth healthy and alive. During a root canal, the diseased pulp is removed to stop the spread of infection, and save the remaining tooth.

For decades, root canals were considered very painful procedures. Thanks to advancements in modern anesthetics and technologies, the procedure today involve very little pain and discomfort. If fact, living with an infected tooth is more painful that the procedure.

Reasons You May Need a Root Canal


There are several reasons a tooth can become infected, some of which include: a large cavity, trauma, previous fillings, and extreme wear due to bruxism (teeth grinding). When a tooth contains a deep cavity or structural damage, bacteria can enter into the pulp. If left untreated, the bacteria can cause serious infection and even lead to tooth absences. A root canal offers you the chance to save your tooth while eliminating the infection. Keeping your natural tooth helps maintain natural appearance, chewing, and sensation. However, a lack of pulp will cause the tooth to become brittle over time, and we will need to place a dental crown to preserve the structure and prevent damage.

There are several symptoms that may indicate that you need a root canal. These include:
•  Severe toothache or pain when chewing
•  Discoloration or darkening of a tooth
•  Swollen or tender gums
•  Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
•  A recurring pimple on the gums

Root Canal Procedure


To complete the procedure, you will need to visit our office one or more times. After proper preparation, we will begin by administering local anesthetic. We will use a rubber sheet called a dental dam to keep the tooth dry and clean. Next, we will make a small hole in the crown of your tooth, to create access to the pulp. A small tool will be used to remove any infected pulp. After it is removed, we can flush out the canals to ensure they are clean. We may need to reshape your canals or give you medication to ensure the infection is eliminated. Once the canals are properly clean, we can replace the pulp with a rubber compound known as gutta-percha. Afterward, we typically place a crown within 30 days of a root canal. This helps secure the structure of the tooth. If you maintain good oral hygiene, the crown can last a lifetime.

Contact Us About Root Canals


If you have noticed any symptoms of an infected tooth, contact us at (410) 381-5030. We will be happy to schedule a consultation visit and review your options.
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Crafton Dental -
10380 Old Columbia Rd, Suite 102, Columbia, MD 21046
- (410) 381-5030
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