Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I hated my smile. I was very self conscious, but Dr. Episcopio changed that for me. I get compliments all the time and I love my new smile. Thank you Dr. Episcopio and his amazing office team!

Alison Groia

Teeth...the focus of my smile - they were my embarrassment, my hindrance. I'd cover my mouth when I'd laugh or smile.
Teeth...NOW - my teeth are my asset! Dr. Episcopio have me back my smile, my love of laughter! Dr. Episcopio gave me the teeth that I am proud of showing, a new me! I am forever grateful to him and his staff, and as I say that I'm smiling wide!!

Alison Wright

Dr. Episcopio has been my dentist for some time now. He had spoken to me about veneers in the past but I always put it off. Finally 6 months before I turned 50 I made the decision to go ahead with it. Wow! I wish I would have made that decision a long time ago. I had learned to smile with my mouth closed or just not at all. My front teeth definitely made me look older than I wanted to admit. I have had many compliments on my appearance since then.
When a child has a secret, they have that little smile. Right now, I have that smile, because I have a secret that I would like to share. Make an appointment with Dr. Lenny. He's the best around. I can tell you that from the bottom of my heart to the smile on my face. His staff is also the best you will find. Caring, compassionate and willing to work with you to make it happen. So visit their office and remember.........SMILE!

Carolyn Sicheri

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