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Root Canal

“Saving a badly damaged or infected tooth”

Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal treatment. Saving the natural tooth with a root canal has many advantages, including efficient chewing, normal biting force and sensation, natural appearance, and the protection of other teeth from excessive wear or strain.

Tooth Anatomy

Inside each tooth is a tiny network of blood vessels and nerves called the pulp. Each tooth has pulp at the center, which connects to the underlying tooth roots.

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. The tooth pulp is usually protected by the hard outer shell of the tooth, but it can be susceptible to infection when there is damage to the enamel due to decay or facial injuries.

The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth, or trauma. When a tooth becomes badly damaged or infected, the tooth can be saved with a root canal procedure. NuSmile can help you rest easy about your root canal procedure and preserve a healthier smile.

Root Canal Defined -

The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root. A root canal involves the removal of the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning the pulp, and restoration with fillings or dental crowns.

Common Misconceptions

Root canals are often associated with pain and uncomfortable drilling, but the procedure itself is typically no different than getting a standard filling for a cavity. In fact, root canals will relieve you of pain that you have experienced as a result of infected tooth pulp, which irritates the sensitive nerves inside of the teeth.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

A severe, persistent toothache is the most common symptom of a tooth abscess that requires a root canal. You might also experience swelling of the nearby gums or sensitivity in the teeth, which will be most noticeable with exposure to hot and cold temperatures and sugary foods. In some cases, there will not be symptoms of deep tooth decay, so it is important to maintain a schedule of regular dental checkups with X-rays to keep your teeth healthy.


  • NuSmile will examine and X-ray the tooth, then administer local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, we place a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  • We make an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  • Once the space is cleaned and shaped, we fill the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed before the tooth is restored.
  • After the final visit, we will place a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, we may place a post inside the tooth.

What to Expect

Treatment typically takes place under local anesthesia with a mild sedative, so you will be awake but relaxed during the procedure.

You can likely resume your normal routine immediately after your root canal, though you may need to avoid crunchy foods for a day or two while inflammation and discomfort subsides. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever should be sufficient for relieving any pain that you have following a root canal.

Contact NuSmile Today

You should never put off root canal treatment if recommended by NuSmile

As the infection may spread beyond the tooth to the underlying bone, causing much more severe pain and damage. If you want your teeth to look and function their very best, set an appointment with NuSmile today. Our dental expertise extends to virtually any cosmetic or functional issue in the mouth, routinely helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. We serve patients in Tampa, Florida, as well as surrounding areas such as Seminole and Clearwater. Schedule a free consultation today.

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