Exactly What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is really a treatment that’s intent is to repair and save a tooth that’s badly decayed or has become infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and your tooth is then sealed. With no treatment the tissue and bone surrounding your tooth will become infected, swelling may occur as well as loosening of the tooth.

“Root canal” may be the expression used to explain the natural chamber within the middle of your tooth. The pulp is the soft area inside the root’s canal.

A tooth’s nerve supplies the feeling of hot/cold as well as pressure. Lack of the nerve won’t modify the day-to-day functioning of the tooth, but will allow the tooth to remain in a patient’s mouth. Following root canal treatment, a crown is highly recommended to protect your tooth as it is now brittle.

Why does the Pulp have to be Removed?

Whenever a tooth’s nerve is affected , it stops working and bacteria start to multiply inside the pulp chamber. The bacteria along with other debris may cause contamination which allows for a tooth to abscess at the end of the roots of the tooth. This can make the tooth seem taller due to the infection that is present. Additionally, an infection or abscess may also cause: swelling that could spread to other parts of the the face or neck, bone loss around the root, draining of the abscess into the oral cavity.

What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp?

A tooth’s nerve and pulp may become inflamed and infected because of deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, large fillings or a crack within the tooth or from trauma to the tooth.

Signs that a Root Canal May be Required:

  •  unprovoked severe tooth pain or discomfort
  • tooth pain unprovoked while sleeping that wakens patient
  • prolonged sensitivity to warmth or cold that lingers when the temperature is


  • darkening of the tooth
  • swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • a persistent or recurring “pimple” in the gums

In the event that root canal treatment is deemed necessary, you will be referred to a root canal specialist called an Endodontist for this procedure. Following the root canal a temporary is placed by the specialist and a return visit to Dr. Loper for a permanent filling and/or crown.