What is a Root Canal?

During the month of November, Watertown Dentistry is offering free consultations for root canals.

Serving the residents and workers in Brighton, Cambridge, Waltham, Watertown, & Belmont, MA

Root canal therapy, or endodontics, is used to treat an infection inside a tooth. A root canal is the removal of the infected nerve and pulp of the tooth. After the infected nerve and pulp are removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, then filled with a rubber-like material. The filler material returns structural integrity to the tooth, as well as sealing it to prevent further problems.

root canal Waltham Belmont Cambridge MAWhat is dental pulp?

The soft area inside a tooth is called pulp. It contains blood vessels and connective tissue that nourish the tooth. When bacteria finds its way into the tooth pulp, there is no way for your body’s natural germ-fighting defenses to effectively reach it and fight the infection. The nerve will degenerate and leave space for the bacteria to thrive. If the infection is left untreated, pus will accumulate at the root of the tooth and cause an abscess, which can be very painful.

Will removal of my tooth’s nerve cause problems eating or speaking?

After a tooth has erupted through the gums, the nerve serves no vital function. It merely allows the tooth to “feel” heat and cold.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

You may need one if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain from pressure like chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after the heat or cold has been removed
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

It is important to remember that a tooth infection may cause no significant symptoms until it is quite severe, so if you have reason to suspect you have an infected tooth, be sure to share your concern with your dentist at your next scheduled appointment. If you do not have an appointment scheduled in the near future, call and make one.

Should I have a root canal or ask my dentist to pull my tooth so I don’t have to deal with the problem any more?

Once your tooth is gone, it is gone. A gap between your teeth can cause unnecessary strain and wear on your remaining teeth. You may not be able to eat all of your favorite foods if you have a gap left by a pulled tooth. A root canal can preserve your existing tooth, allowing it to function the way it did before it became infected. The filling material and a filling, or crown if necessary, will allow you to continue eating the foods you love while helping you avoid further intervention to deal with problems that may develop with teeth surrounding a gap. A root canal will relieve any pain you are suffering, from your infected tooth, so you can chew normally again. It will also keep swelling and infections from spreading to your gums or through your cheek to your skin, and eliminate the threat of bone loss at the tip of the root. All this, and it preserves your smile!

Do root canals hurt?

Despite what you have heard, modern root canals can be at least relatively comfortable during the process and recovery. Most patients say the discomfort of having a root canal is similar to that of having a tooth filled. Compared to the pain you may experience before you take the step of having a root canal, and the pain you will experience if you do not get your tooth treated, the pain of the procedure is small.

Depending on the amount of damage to your tooth, the root canal treatment can be accomplished in only one or two visits.

Who can I trust for a root canal in Massachusetts?

If you are in the Watertown, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham or Newton, MA area, you can trust Watertown Dentistry for all dental needs, including endodontic care, that big word for root canal. If you are experiencing pain or persistent sensitivity, call us today for a root canal consultation.

Call us for more information (617) 600-3442


Book an Appointment