Endodontics (Root Canals)

Root canal procedures are performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure is very similar to having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to calling Dr. Ward’s office is the most painful, not the root canal procedure itself.

A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face. Nerves that are damaged cannot heal by themselves.

Local anesthetics allow the procedure to be performed with little or no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness after the procedure, but that is normal with most dental procedures. Over the counter analgesics are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, however Dr. Ward may prescribe an antibiotic or prescription pain medication. The procedure also relieves you from pain caused by the infection which allows you to enjoy all the foods you love without discomfort from heat, cold or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain, contact Dr. Ward today.

Common indications that a root canal may be needed:

  • unprompted pain or throbbing
  • pain while eating, chewing and biting
  • sensitivity to hot and cold

After it is determined that a tooth needs a root canal, Dr. Ward will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Dr. Ward will then drill an opening into the tooth, much like a regular filling, and remove the infected nerve tissue. The canal is then sealed with a sterile material which will prevent future infection. Almost all root canals are completed in one visit.

The final step is to put a crown or post and crown on the tooth because a tooth that has undergone a root canal often is one that has had a large filling or extensive decay. The crown ensures the success of the root canal, prevents the tooth from breaking, restores it to its full function, and improves the appearance of the tooth.

Dr. Ward will perform all of this treatment in his office making the process more convenient for you, the patient. Instead of visiting multiple offices for one tooth, Dr. Ward is capable of performing all procedures needed to restore your tooth to its original health and beauty.