West & North Knoxville Offices
Mon-Wed: 8-5 / Thurs & Fri: 7-3:30

Root Canal (Endodontics)

A root canal, or endodontics, is the process of removing the nerves from the roots of a tooth. A root canal is often necessary to save an infected tooth. If an infected tooth is left untreated for a long period of time, an abscess can form. An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root. If a root canal is recommended, it is very important to address this problem as soon as possible.

Process

The first step in a root canal is to anesthetize the affected area. The next step is to open an access point through the top, or biting surface, of the tooth. The doctor will then determine the working length of each canal. Each canal is then cleaned and shaped in preparation for the filling material. Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha. The canals are then sealed. The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown. 

Why do I need a root canal?

There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal. These include but are not limited to, a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve.

Signs/Symptoms

  • Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
  • Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
  • Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
  • Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
  • A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
  • Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another