Saving your tooth

Root Canal Treatment

Endodontic Procedures Explained

“We have created this section to provide you with detailed information on endodontic procedures. We hope that this information will provide some incite into the treatment plans that Dr. DeVengencie will be going over with you during your visit.

If you are visiting this site before your appointment, please jot down any additional questions you may have and we will make every effort to address them during your scheduled appointment.

We use our teeth so much during the day that we often forget how complex they are, that is, until we feel pain. Underneath each tooth is a soft tissue area, called the pulp, that carries nerves, veins, arteries, and lymph vessels. These are all channels of connection between our teeth and the rest of our bodies. These connections run from the top of the tooth down to its root by way of a root canal. Each tooth has at least one root canal, but may have as many as four or five, depending on the number of roots below that tooth.

How Do Root Canal Problems Occur?

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, saliva and the bacteria in it can get to the tooth pulp. An infection is likely to result and, without root canal treatment by an endodontist, the pulp will die. The infection may cause pus to gather at the tip of the root, creating an abscess that can attack the bone. The abscess must be cleaned up to prevent deterioration and the damaged tooth pulp must be removed by a root canal dentist.

Problems That Cause Root Canal Pain

When the pulp is damaged or dead, pressure is created inside the tooth. That pressure creates pain when you bite down on the tooth, chew on it, or when it feels the heat or cold of food and drinks.

Saving the Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Repairing the root canal is the way to save the entire tooth. The other alternative is to pull the tooth entirely. However, leaving that space empty may create other problems, like making chewing and biting more difficult. Teeth may also shift their position if missing teeth are not there to hold the space. If you decide to have the dentist pull the tooth and replace it with a denture or bridge, the cost will be significantly more than the cost of a root canal procedure.

With modern therapy, root canal treatment can be approached with confidence -- getting to the root of the problem, but without the pain.

Below you will fine links to detailed information on treatment options. Each link opens up a new page in a pop-up window. You can then view the answer to each question and print the page if you so desire.


Saving Your Tooth

Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!

Saving your natural tooth should always be your first choice when dental care is needed. Nothing, not even the most advanced bridges and implants, can truly replace your natural tooth.

  • If your dentist recommends extracting your tooth, ask if it can be saved with an endodontic procedure, also known as root canal treatment. Endodontic treatment removes the injured pulp (soft inner tissue) of your tooth and fills and seals the space.
  • Your tooth is then restored and can function just like any other tooth for the rest of your life, ensuring comfortable chewing and a natural appearance.
  • Endodontists can often save the most severely injured teeth.
  • If your tooth cannot be saved — and some cannot — you may consider replacements such as a bridge or dental implant. Your options may depend upon the condition of surrounding teeth and bone structure.
  • Dental implant procedures can be complex, costly and they often require several visits and several month’s healing time before the procedure can be completed.

Do everything possible to save your teeth before considering extraction. Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!