Root Canal Treatment

When bacteria enter your cavities, cracks, or flawed fillings, your tooth can become abscessed. In turn, this may cause pain and swelling.

An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If the pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. The infection may be noticed by your dentist from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, the tooth can cause serious oral health problems.

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Who can perform a root canal treatment?

Your dentist can do a 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.

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Who needs root canal treatments?

Anyone with an abscessed tooth needs to have a root canal treatment done. An abscessed tooth is a tooth infected in the pulp, which is a bundle of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue in the center of the tooth under layers of enamel and dentin.

The pulp is the most vital part of the tooth, and when it becomes infected it must be removed. If not removed, the infected pulp will produce quality-of-life wrecking symptoms including teeth sensitivity to hot and cold, pain while chewing, and lingering toothaches so strong they wake you up from sleep at night.

These infections happen when bacteria are allowed down into the tooth by a cavity or crack. An abscessed tooth can be diagnosed by an oral x-ray if there are no visible changes to the tooth. It must be treated immediately by removing infected pulp with a root canal treatment, or the patient remains at risk of developing those severe oral health complications.

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How many visits to the dentist does one root canal treatment take?

Most root canal treatments take one to two appointments. Sometimes a patient needs a second root canal treatment to clean or fill the canal again.

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What happens if I don't get a root canal treatment? What are the other options?

This question gets asked when patients are not convinced when we tell them how little the procedure will actually hurt.

If you have an abscessed tooth, you could just extract the tooth instead of cleaning out the root and then filling it back up. But any dentist would recommend that teeth that aren't salvaging. Root canal procedures offer a very high success rate of over 90%. Just pulling the tooth out may seem like a cleaner and simpler solution right now, but in the long run it's not the right choice. Your teeth can shift position and this may lead to bite problems. Also, your jawbone can weaken without the support of the tooth and its root in place. This will create an unattractive sunken jaw profile.

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What happens in a root canal treatment?


  • First, the dentist gives you a local anesthetic.
  • An opening in the tooth is then made 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.
  • The dentist fills and seals the canal after the canal has been cleaned.
  • The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.

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Tooth restoration after the treatment

Your tooth has to be restored 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 to restore your tooth.

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What does my tooth look like after a root canal treatment?

The root canal procedure involves creating a cavity and filling that cavity is just like filling any naturally-occurring cavity. Composite resin or ceramics can be used to restore natural color and feel to a tooth after a root canal treatment.

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How much does a root canal treatment hurt?

The procedure itself isn't painful due to effective anesthetics. It is, however, normal for your tooth to be sore for one to two weeks after the treatment. Sharp pains or swelling after the treatment is not normal. Contact your dentist immediately if this occurs.

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Root canal re-treatment

In rare cases, a second root canal treatment, called a re-treatment is needed. When retreating a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out and the canal is re-cleaned, reshaped and refilled.

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For more information on root canal treatment, book your free consultation with Deldar Dental.

Deldar Dental offers root canal treatment in Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Lapel, Westfield, and surrounding areas.

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