Root Canals

Dental Health and Root Canals

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure involving one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!

What is the purpose of a root canal?

A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.

What happens during a root canal?

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.

testimonial quote

Professional, kind, and as good an experience you can have at a dentist! — Joan M.

I always have a great experience with Dr. Leung and his assistance's. I have even recommended Dr. Lessne and Dr. Leung to friends. — James C.

From the front desk to the patient chair our experience has always been friendly and positive. We always feel better after any procedure. — Terry M.

The entire office has a great mix of professionalism and friendliness. It's always a pleasure to visit Dr. Leung and his staff. — Eric M.

I have been a patient for many years. Dr. Leung saw me on an emergency basis recently and resolved my problem quickly and efficiently. — Steve L.

The dental hygienist is very thorough, and Dr. Leung is excellent. Everyone in the office is efficient and pleasant. — Joyce W.

I've been going to Drs. Lessne and Leung for close to ten years now. Doctors and staff are professional and personable, and provide great care. Irina is the best! — Antoinette P.