We at Geelan Dental Care are well versed in root canal procedures. Root canals are performed on seriously infected or injured teeth. They involve the removal of the inside of the tooth, nerve, and pulp. The nerve and pulp are found in the center of the tooth. The term root canal refers to the area located here within the natural cavity of the tooth. During the procedure, the area is then evacuated and sealed.

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When tooth decay is intensive, or the tooth has become seriously injured, there can be resulting damage to the nerve and pulp. Bacteria easily penetrates the area and begins to infect tissue. An abscess forms in the canal, filling up with pus and causing swelling. This problem can spread to other areas of the face and neck, making for unsightly swellings. This infection can cause sensitivity, inflammation, and pain. It also makes using the tooth in chewing difficult. If left untreated it may require eventual removal of the entire tooth.

It is important to opt for a root canal when these symptoms arise as it allows the tooth to be saved and restores normal function. Removal may seem an easier choice, but the absence of a natural tooth can always be felt and cause psychological and physical discomfort. Root canals are also beneficial to the surrounding teeth. They continue to be supported and work in tandem with the repaired tooth. Chewing and biting sensations remain normal. Having to replace a natural tooth with an artificial one will be an added cost.


The first step we undertake in root canals is to perform a dental x-ray. This will help confirm the extent and locality of the damage. The procedure is usually painless as we administer local anesthesia. Once the tooth is numbed up, we then use a small drill to open up the top of the cavity to access the inside. Using dental instruments, we clean out the interior, drawing out and filing away the diseased pulp. Water and antimicrobial solutions are used to clean out the gap and sanitize.

Once the gap is clean and dry, we can then move on to filling it. A rubber-like material known as gutta-percha is used. A temporary filling is used to cover the opening in the tooth as we wait on a permanent crown from the lab. The filling may be delayed if there is still an infection. In this case, medication will be applied to the area to allow for a few days healing before covering it up. Once the crown seals the tooth, you should be able to enjoy the full functionality.

This procedure can last a lifetime once correctly done. There is no need to worry about the removal of pulp and nerve tissue as the tooth will continue to be nourished by other surrounding tissue. The only change will be that the tooth will not be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures as before.

Root canals have a very high success rate with the results usually lasting a lifetime, and patients enjoying a marked improvement in functionality. To find out more about this and other restorative dental procedures, contact Geelan Dental Care on (503) 223-1322 today.