What is a Root Canal and what can I expect during the procedure?

You may have been told that you need a root canal therapy at your most recent trip to our Highlands Ranch dental office. Root canal therapy is simply the removal of the nerve of the tooth. This is done for several reasons, including severe pain or sensitivity, infections, or a cavity that is so large it is infecting the nerve of the tooth.

So what can you expect the process during a root canal procedure?

1. First, a diagnosis of what and why the tooth requires a root canal is determined. After this diagnosis, our Highlands Ranch Dentists will review what is called an informed consent for the procedure.

2. Then local anesthetic is applied to the area to receive treatment. Once you are profoundly numb, a dental dam (commonly referred to as a rubber dam) is placed over the tooth. This step is a requirement to ensure your safety.

3. Next our Highlands Ranch Dentist, will access the nerve of the tooth and carefully begin to remove the nerve with a set of different instruments and files.

4. The canals or roots of the tooth are then cleaned and shaped and the bacteria along with the nerve is completely removed. To ensure this process is done thoroughly, a radiograph/x-ray of the area is taken to make sure the instruments have gone all the way down the root.

5. The canals or roots are then filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha. It is permanently adhered to your tooth through the roots with a sealer. Again another radiograph/x-ray may be taken to ensure that the gutta percha is completely seated.

6. After this process is completed, our Highlands Ranch Dentist may recommend a crown (full coverage restoration) to prevent fracture of the tooth or a simple filling to fill the hole may be required.

7. We may also recommend that you take a non-steroidal inflammatory medication such as Advil or Aleve for a period of time to help with any post operative discomfort.

Highlands Ranch Dentist


Do you have more questions about root canal therapy? Call and talk to one of our outstanding team members at 303-694-9740 and schedule a consultation with our Highlands Ranch Dentist, Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons. Our family has been hand crafting smiles since 1982 serving Centennial, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Pines, and of course Highlands Ranch! We look forward to making your smile!

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