About Root Canals

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A root canal is a dental procedure that helps eliminate pain from a tooth by removing the infected nerve. Root canals are generally required when a cavity has gotten so large that it has infected the nerve. Use a root canal instead of pulling the tooth with advice from a general dentist in this free video on dentistry and oral health.

Part of the Video Series: Dental Health & Information
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Video Transcript

A root canal is a very common procedure seen in the dental office, and oftentimes we get the question what is a root canal? A root canal is essentially a procedure that helps eliminate pain from a tooth. To eliminate the pain from the tooth the nerve is taken out of the tooth. Now, there's two ways that a dentist can eliminate the pain from someone's mouth. Obviously, one is to remove the tooth. The other one is to do the root canal which is not removing the tooth, but renew removing the nerve within the tooth. Typically, this is done when a cavity has gotten large enough that it's gotten into the nerve and it starts to cause symptoms. Typically, we find a patient that needs a root canal will present with symptoms such as biting pain, sensitivity to cold, throbby pain that comes and goes, keeps you up at night, sporadically pops up and won't go away, and medications won't make it feel better. Those are the classic signs of someone who exhibits tooth pain that typically needs a root canal. A root canal is per performed by numbing up the patient just like we do any other procedure, and a little a small little hole is put down into the middle of the tooth where the nerve is normally located. It's through this hole that we use a special set of instruments to go in and remove the infected nerve, as well as the residual infection that lies within the tooth. It's through this little hole that everything is cleaned out, and and a new filling is placed where the nerve originally was, and that allows us to eliminate the pain that we typically see with patients. A root canal is an excellent alternative for saving a tooth if you choose not to have it removed.

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