Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy, or Endodontics, is a process where the nerves and pulp of the tooth are removed and replaced with an inert rubber material. The most common reasons for needing a root canal are:

  • Extensive and deep tooth decay
  • a large cavity under a filling or crown
  • a dental abscess
  • the fracture of a tooth.

To determine whether or not you will require a root canal treatment, we will take an x-ray showing the root of the tooth. Then our dentists run a series of vitality tests which allows us to determine the health of the tooth. Our dentists will make a diagnosis based on the information collected and the symptoms you are experiencing.

Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes a toothache caused by cold substances, which goes away quickly and doesn’t hurt without stimulus, may still be able to heal itself without the need for a root canal. This is known as a reversible condition. Talk to our dentists to find out if your toothache is a reversible condition.

If the toothache happens more frequently and lasts from a few minutes to several hours and hurts without any stimulus, especially lying down at night, then the tooth may be in an irreversible condition and require a root canal.

If the nerve of the tooth dies

When the nerve dies, the dead tissues become infected and this creates an abscess at the base of the root. The tooth hurts when you chew because the abscess is pressing against nerves in the surrounding bone tissue creating pressure and pain. When this happens you may experience continuous throbbing pain and will require a root canal. After the root canal treatment is finished the tooth is comfortable again to chew on, however, to maintain its strength the tooth will need a crown.

Protecting the Root Canal Treated Tooth

After the treatment is completed a crown will be needed. The crown will reinforce the biting part of the tooth and helps to seal the tooth to prevent infection.

Process of Root Canal Treatment

Depending on the circumstances of the tooth involved, a root canal treatment involves either one or two appointments. The first appointment is aimed to release the pressure and drain the abscess thereby giving time for the tooth to heal. The tooth will be cleaned and rinsed with antibacterial solutions and then an antibacterial dressing will be placed inside the root canals. Then the tooth is sealed temporarily.

On the second visit, thorough cleaning of the roots will be done to get rid of dead tissues and to ensure the roots are free of infection. Our dentists use the most modern instruments to clean and shape the root canals. The root canals are cleaned and measured in fractions of millimetres to ensure that all accessible lengths are cleaned and filled.

Contact us to make an appointment to learn more about root canal therapy and all of your family’s dental needs in Nanaimo, BC.  We look forward to meeting you!