Root Canal


A root canal is one of the most commonly performed dental procedures, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that is responsible for heat and cold sensations. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks or chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or bleeding from the tooth, swelling of the surrounding gums with a typical “pimple” appearance, sensitivity to temperature, or pain to the touch or pressure.

How is a root canal performed?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, Dr. Preis will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and is completed in two or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in over 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use profound local anesthesia to eliminate any discomfort. In some cases a short course of antibiotics may be recommended prior or after the treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine the next day. If indicated we can provide oral sedation in which case you’ll need someone to drive you home.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a follow-up restoration should be completed within a few weeks. Dr. Preis and you will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, good dental hygiene is strongly advisable.