Sage Orthodontics what is a root canal

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures (over 14 million a year). This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.

Common Symptoms

Persistent Pain in tooth and/or jaw

Tooth discoloration

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold

Swelling of the gums around the tooth or Gum Tenderness near painful tooth

Bump-like pimples near tooth


At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures.


If you experience common infection symptoms, your endodontist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Root canal therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in over 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. Our doctors uses local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, if nitrous oxide analgesia is required it can be requested at the time of scheduling the appointment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

Root Retreatment

With proper care, teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth fails to heal or develops new problems after your initial root canal treatment, a root retreatment may be necessary to support healing and save your natural tooth.

Sage Orthodontics root retreatment


A tooth may not heal correctly from a root canal for a variety of reasons:

Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.

Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.

The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.

The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.

Sometimes, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated:

New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.

A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.

A tooth sustains a fracture.


If the natural tooth structure can be saved, your endodontist will most likely recommend a non-surgical procedure to remove and clean the diseased pulp. The old crown, post, and core material will be removed, and the area thoroughly cleaned. A careful examination of the inside of your tooth will identify any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment. After cleaning, our doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a new crown or other restoration treatment on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.


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