Root Canals

When a tooth infection spreads down to the root, it can cause problems with nerves, pulp and blood vessels. Generally, the patient experiences pain and sensitivity. Without treatment, infection can spread and lead to an abscess. A root canal eliminates the diseased part of the inner tooth and stops the spread of infection.

When the inside of a tooth, the pulp chamber, becomes infected, the bacteria begin to multiply and cause infection. A dentist performs a thorough evaluation and determines whether a root canal is needed. Common symptoms of a tooth that needs a root canal include sensitivity to temperature, pain when chewing, darkening of the tooth and swelling in the gums.

There are 5 general steps in the root canal process:

  1. The dentist drills through the top of the tooth into the inner chamber.
  2. All infected tissues is removed and the pulp chamber and root canals are cleansed.
  3. Rubbery material is injected into the canals and the dentist applies a sealant to fill the hole.
  4. The dentist puts on a temporary crown until a permanent crown is made
  5. On a return visit, the dentist cements the crown over the reshaped tooth.

After the root canal, patients may experience a little pain and tenderness but this should disappear after a week or so. With proper care and oral hygiene, the crown should last for many years and the patient should experience no more pain from the infected tissue.


If you would like to learn more about root canals, please contact Bridge Creek Dental at (406) 652-1600 for a consultation. We look forward to serving you!


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