Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Procedure

Root Canal Procedure

Root Canal

Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from beneath the top of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward, until they reach the tip of the root.

The molars which are the back teeth have at least three canals and as many as four in each tooth. The premolars which are the smaller back teeth usually have two canals. The front teeth or incisors usually have only one canal in each tooth.

Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. When the infection becomes worse, it can begin affecting the roots. A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems.

A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain and sensitivity which are usually the first symptoms of a problem. An infection could develop causing swelling which is commonly referred to as an abscess.

Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success. It involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth. Before the procedure was developed and gained acceptance, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction.


Root canal therapy involves drilling a small hole in the tooth and into the inner chamber. The diseased tissue is removed and the inner chamber is cleansed and disinfected. The tiny canals are cleaned and reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. Now that the tooth does not have a blood or nerve supply, it is more brittle than other teeth. This is why the tooth may require a crown to protect it from fracturing.

Most patients who have root canal therapy experience little or no discomfort, and can then maintain the restored tooth as part of the healthy dentition.

Ernst Family Dentistry

Dr. Christopher B. Ernst, D.M.D.
509 Washington Ave.
Newtown, PA 18940
tel: (215) 968.1902

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