Root Canal Therapy

The purpose of root canal therapy is to save your natural tooth. Without treatment, tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form

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Expert Dental Care

A root canal procedure is needed when a tooth’s nerve is infected or decayed. It can also be needed if the nerve does not settle down after being irritated.  During a procedure, the nerve, located within the centre of the tooth, is removed, along with the pulp tissue. Then the interior of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, filled, sealed and capped with a crown.

The purpose of root canal therapy is to save your natural tooth. Without treatment, tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. Before modern dental technology, the only option was to remove the affected tooth.

Now, our priority is to save the tooth for your oral health as a whole. Without a nerve, a tooth will maintain its normal function.

The role of the nerve is sensory — to perceive hot or cold.

Questions About Root Canals

If your tooth is chipped, fractured, or if the crown is detached or damaged, the soft pulp of the inner tooth can be left exposed, leading to infection and debilitating pain. Sometimes oral bacteria can also reach the pulp with prolonged decay.  It is also important to note that long term pulpal irritation can cause death of the pulp resulting in sudden discomfort.

Often there are clear signs and symptoms that your nerve is damaged.  These include:

  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Gum tenderness or inflammation
  • Swelling of the gums, cheeks, or lips
  • Unexplained toothache
  • A pimple, or abscess on the gums
  • Tooth discoloration

Here at Summit View, we understand that these procedures are intimidating, yet necessary. For your ease, we have sedation options.

A root canal involves more than one visit to our office. We will take an x-ray of your teeth prior to the procedure to assess the tooth and determine the possible likelihood of success.  During the treatment, your tooth will be numbed, and a dental dam will be placed to protect the area from bacteria from saliva. The surface of the tooth will be opened, and the nerve tissue, pulp, and any bacteria will be removed. If there is decay, this will also be removed.  The first appointment usually gets you out of pain.  The second appointment involves thoroughly cleaning the canal, disinfecting it and then filling the canals, sealing them off and then restoring your tooth with filling material.  Your next two visits will involve preparing the tooth for a crown (cap), placing a temporary crown and lastly placing the final crown.

Once a tooth is root canaled it becomes weaker compared to a non-root canaled tooth.  A crown (cap) helps prolong the life of the tooth after a root canal.  Remember, your tooth is now structurally weaker so the expected life span is not as long as a non-root canaled tooth.  The purpose of the root canal and crown treatment is to keep the tooth in your mouth as long as we can.

As with a lot of dental treatments there is a strong bias and misinformation about what is being done and what you experience.  Just as no two people are the same, no two dental treatments are the same.  What one person experiences does not mean that everyone experiences the same thing.  With modern anesthetics and techniques you will be quite numb.  From there, a root canal is much like a longer filling appointment.  In fact they can be so boring we encourage you to bring along some music to keep yourself entertained.


We consider it imperative to make this process as gentle as possible. Though your tooth might remain sensitive for a while after treatment, this will subside. We will give you clear care information for your newly mended tooth during your initial appointments, and will be there for any questions or concerns.

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Our office is open Monday thru Saturday. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our clinic or potential appointment booking.

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