Root Canal Treatment: The Facts

Sometimes, due to decay or gum disease, the nerve in the tooth can begin to die and become painful. To stop this pain and to keep the tooth, a root canal is performed.  This process removes the nerve in the tooth, disinfects the nerve canal, and seals it with an inert material.  You will still have the tooth, but the nerve will be gone. After the root canal is done, a crown [cap] is recommended to restore and protect the tooth. With modern techniques, the procedure can be virtually painless.

Is root canal treatment painful?

We use the same numbing for a root canal that we do for a filling or for a crown, so you should not feel discomfort.

Do I always need a crown after a root canal?

In the majority of cases people do needs crowns after root canal treatment. The reasoning behind this statement is because most teeth that need root canal treatment need the treatment because of extensive or deep tooth decay. And once the decay has progressed to the point where a root canal is needed, there is likely a significant amount of lost tooth structure; it is for this reason that the tooth will need a crown.

However, in certain circumstances, such as with a front tooth with a small cavity that made its way into the nerve, we can restore these teeth with a bonding (white filling).