Root Canal Therapy

Swelling and root infections are often but not always caused by untreated cavities. Overtime, bacteria in cavities continue to eat its way into the center of the tooth where the nerves rest. This will cause bacterial buildup and infection in the roots. The gums close to the tooth may begin to swell, throb and/or bleed. After it has been infected, the nerves in the tooth must be removed and treated with antibiotic medication. Removing the nerves, however, will leave the center of the tooth hollow. Restorative treatment will be needed to prevent the tooth from cracking.

The Procedure: All patients must be numbed with a local anesthesia. Dr. Lee will begin by removing decayed tooth particles blocking the canal. Canals uncovered, she will remove decayed material in the tooth canals and clear away as much as the infection as possible. After the root canals have been sufficiently prepped, Dr. Lee will inject antibiotic medication into the canals and temporarily seal it. In about a week, the preparation work for a restorative filling or crown can be started.

Before You Come In: Don’t be hasty to assume you have a root canal. It’s best to let the doctor have a look. It may simply be a cavity that needs to be filled. Before the root canal procedure, be sure to have some light food.

What You Can Expect Afterwards: Your mouth will remain numb for a few hours (depending on age and amount of anesthesia used, 2 hours is average) so avoid eating to protect your tongue from being bitten. After the numbness wears off, you will feel sore for a few days (no more than a week). Continue to take any prescribed antibiotic and pain reliever until soreness goes away (it is recommended that you finish taking the antibiotics even after pain has stopped). Extended or increased pain is abnormal, call us back immediately if you notice any. For the next week, avoid eating sticky foods to prevent the temporary filling from being dislodged.