An Overview of Root Canals

James Frizzell, DDS, is the owner of a dental practice in Niagara Falls, Ontario. With over 20 years of experience as a dentist, Dr. James Frizzell specializes in cosmetic dentistry as well as general and family dentistry. James Frizzell, DDS, provides a number of services for his patients, including root canals.

When bacteria and germs enter a tooth through deep cavities or cracks, the soft interior, or pulp of the tooth, can become seriously infected. Made up of nerves and blood vessels, the pulp of the tooth is part of the root canal system. Infection leads to an abscessed tooth and can result in significant pain, tenderness, and swelling in the area.

The most effective way to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by an abscessed tooth is a root canal. The procedure is designed to remove the infected pulp from the tooth. First, a dentist or endodontist makes an opening in the tooth that will enable access the root canal system. The damaged pulp is removed and the remaining canal is cleaned, enlarged, and filled with a biocompatible material. The dentist then seals the opening with a temporary filling.

Following the root canal procedure, the patient will need to return to the dentist for a tooth restoration. Depending on the extent of the root canal, the tooth will either be filled or fitted with a permanent crown so that the tooth will look, feel, and function like the natural tooth.

Patients who undergo a root canal may experience some tenderness for between one and two weeks after the procedure.

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