Oral Health Information

Dental Root Canal

To understand a root canal, we must first understand the anatomy of the tooth.  Within your teeth is a soft material referred to as the ‘pulp’. It contains blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves.  Sometimes, the pulp can become infected, which causes severe pain. To take care of infected pulp, sometimes a root canal is necessary.  

WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL?

The root canal is a small tube in which nerves enter into the roots of the tooth and run into the pulp chamber. Each tooth has at least one, but some may contain more.

WHY MIGHT I NEED ROOT CANAL THERAPY?

In the event of an injury or trauma to a tooth, the pulp can become infected and if left untreated will eventually die. Problems with the pulp lead to an excess in blood flow and cellular activity resulting in a pressure within the tooth that cannot be naturally relieved.  As a result, the tooth becomes painful, especially when biting down or with exposure to hot and cold. Worst case, the infection spreads to the bone around the tooth and the tooth eventually falls out.  

WHAT IS ROOT CANAL THERAPY?

A ‘root canal’ procedure is the removal of that infected or dead pulp.  Once the root canal chamber is cleaned out, it is filled with a substance known as ‘gutta percha’ derived from the latex of certain tree species.  This substance prevents a recontamination for the tooth and seals it off from future trauma.

Root canals can take anywhere from one to a few appointments, depending on the work that is required.  In some instances, a root canal may be paired with the need for a crown, or filling. Other circumstances allow for a waiting period in which the tooth can drain and topical medication is applied to guard against harmful bacteria.

The tooth can also present weakness, even after it is filled, causing need for reinforcement in the form of a metal or fibre-reinforced resin post.  

Once the area is permanently sealed, the tooth is usually further protected with a ceramic, gold, or alloy crown to reinforce the structure and appearance.

HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER TREATMENT?

Root canals can be the cause of some discomfort, but your dentist will provide the best possible follow up treatment to minimize this with recommendations for over-the-counter pain relievers.  Continual visits to the dentist, proper oral hygiene, and awareness for avoiding biting down on hard foods, is optimal for giving the tooth its best chance at a long life.

ARE THERE ANY POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS?

Although rare, new infections in the tooth are not unheard of.  This can be caused by a number of factors from an undetected crack to a breakdown of the inner sealing material.   Additional follow up is necessary in these cases.

ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES TO ROOT CANAL THERAPY?

If you decide to opt out of a root canal, your affected tooth will need to be extracted.  While that might not seem like a bad deal, especially if the tooth is hidden further back in the mouth, eventually your residing teeth will begin to move potentially resulting in a bad bite that will require an implant or bridge.  It is always ideal to keep your original teeth, and a root canal promotes that.

About Our Clinic

Welcome to Signal Hill Dental Centre, a general dental clinic located in SW Calgary. Our team is dedicated to providing our patients with honest and caring dental treatments so that they are able to achieve and maintain optimal oral and overall health goals.

At our clinic, our team strives to offer our services that make visits to the dentist convenient for you. This includes:

  • Clinic hours open 7 days a week
  • Extended hours (early mornings, evenings, and weekend)
  • Direct billing insurance
  • Same day emergency dental appointments
  • Comparable and up to date pricing
  • Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) standard in all hygiene appointments

We offer a range of dental services including general cleaning, emergency dentistry, children dentistry, dental repairs, Invisalign teeth straightening, Botox for TMJ/TMD and more.

The core of our clinic values is focused around providing great customer service. We treat our patients as if they were a part of our own staff or family. Our knowledgable team constantly ensures continuous communication and education so that our patients are comfortable through each procedure.

Our SW Calgary dental clinic is accepting new patients. If you would like to meet with one of our Dentists or book a consultation, please contact us and we would be delighted to arrange an appointment.

We look forward to serving you.

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