Renew Your Smile with Root Canal Therapy.

At Dr. Stuart Katz and Associates, we understand that root canal treatment can be intimidating for many patients. However, our skilled team is committed to providing gentle and effective root canal therapy to alleviate pain and preserve natural teeth. With our advanced techniques and compassionate approach, we ensure a positive experience and long-term oral health for our patients.

root canal burnaby
root canal burnaby

Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure performed to save a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected. The term “root canal” refers to the natural cavity within the center of the tooth that houses the tooth’s pulp (nerve tissue), which can become infected or inflamed due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or trauma. During a root canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent further infection. The procedure helps alleviate pain and discomfort while preserving the natural tooth structure.

Several signs may indicate the need for root canal therapy, including:

  • Persistent tooth pain, especially when chewing or applying pressure
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the temperature stimulus has been removed
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth
  • Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
  • Pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth
  • Presence of deep decay or a large cavity that extends into the pulp chamber
  • History of trauma or injury to the tooth

There are primarily two types of root canal procedures:

  • CONVENTIONAL ROOT CANAL: In a conventional root canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth's pulp chamber and root canals. The interior of the tooth is then cleaned, shaped, and filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha, to seal the space and prevent reinfection. The tooth is then restored with a dental filling or crown to protect and strengthen it.
  • APICOECTOMY (ENDODONTIC SURGERY): An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure performed when conventional root canal therapy is not sufficient to resolve the infection. During an apicoectomy, the tip of the tooth's root (apex) is removed along with any infected tissue, and the root end is sealed to prevent further infection. This procedure may be recommended if the infection persists or if there are complications with the tooth's anatomy that cannot be addressed with traditional root canal therapy.

Recovering from a root canal typically involves a few stages, and while individual experiences may vary, here are general guidelines and tips to help ensure a smooth root canal recovery. Manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers and avoid chewing on the treated side until the numbness wears off. Stick to soft foods, drink plenty of water, and keep up with gentle brushing and flossing. It’s normal to have some mild pain and swelling for a few days—ice packs can help with that. Avoid smoking and alcohol to speed up healing. Follow up with your dentist for any necessary restorations and report any severe pain, increased swelling, or fever right away. Make sure to get plenty of rest and keep up with regular dental check-ups.

Root canal recovery time can vary, but most people feel back to normal within a few days to a week. Initial discomfort and sensitivity typically subside after a few days, while any mild swelling should decrease within this period as well. Full healing of the treated area may take a few weeks, but you can usually return to your normal routine shortly after the procedure. It’s important to follow your dentist’s advice and attend any follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and restoration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about root canal treatment? Find answers to commonly asked questions below.

A root canal is a dental procedure designed to save and restore a tooth that is infected, decayed, or damaged. During the procedure, the infected pulp inside the tooth is removed, and the space is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent further infection.

With modern techniques and anesthesia, root canal treatment is not typically painful. In fact, root canal therapy is performed to alleviate the pain caused by tooth infection or inflammation.

The duration of root canal treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case and the number of canals in the tooth. Most root canal procedures can be completed in one to two visits to the dentist.

In many cases, a dental crown is recommended after root canal treatment to protect and strengthen the tooth, as it may become more brittle over time. However, your dentist will evaluate your individual case and discuss the best treatment plan for you.

While it is possible for a tooth with a root canal to become reinfected, proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can help prevent this from occurring. In some cases, retreatment or additional procedures may be necessary to address reinfection.

With proper care and maintenance, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment can last a lifetime. It’s essential to practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits, to ensure the long-term success of the treatment.

In most cases, you should be able to drive yourself home after a root canal procedure, as local anesthesia is typically used to numb the treatment area. However, if you receive sedation or anesthesia that affects your ability to drive, you should arrange for someone to accompany you.

In some cases, tooth extraction may be an alternative to root canal treatment. However, saving the natural tooth through root canal therapy is generally preferable whenever possible, as it helps maintain oral function and preserves the natural smile.

Yes, you can usually drive after a root canal. The local anesthesia used during the procedure typically does not impair your ability to drive. However, if you were given sedatives or feel unusually drowsy or lightheaded, it’s best to have someone else drive you home. Always follow your dentist’s specific recommendations based on your individual situation.

It’s best to avoid smoking after a root canal. Smoking can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of complications, such as infection. Try to refrain from smoking for at least a few days following the procedure to ensure optimal recovery. Always follow your dentist’s specific recommendations for the best results.

Yes, you can eat after a root canal, but it’s important to be cautious. Wait until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off to avoid biting your cheek or tongue. Start with soft foods and avoid chewing on the treated side until the permanent restoration is in place. Stick to gentle, non-irritating foods like soups, yogurt, and mashed potatoes initially, and avoid very hot, cold, or hard foods. Always follow your dentist’s specific advice for your situation.