Root canals, known as endodontic therapy, is a common dental procedure that Dr. Whipple performs to relieve the pain of infection inside your tooth. The process is important because it allows us to save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction. Teeth can become infected for a variety of reasons including previous large fillings, crowns, cracks, fractures, trauma, and most often a cavity that has extended to the inside of a tooth.

Common reasons for root canal therapy include:

  • The pulp of the tooth has become infected due to decay.
  • An abscess has developed.
  • Your tooth was injured or traumatized from impact.
  • The tooth has been worn due to bruxism or grinding.

Root canals is the treatment of choice to save a tooth. We have had many patients ask if removing a tooth is the best, or most economical, solution, but what they do not realize is that extracting, or pulling a tooth, could ultimately be more costly. Missing teeth can cause significant problems to the adjacent teeth as well as causing loss of bone around the extraction site.

How is a Root Canal Performed?

When the nerve inside of a tooth is affected by decay it becomes infected. We can save the tooth and relieve the pain. To do this, we remove the pulp, nerves, bacteria, and any decay. Dr. Whipple then fills the empty space with a medicated rubber material. Frequently a crown is then needed because the strength of the tooth has been compromised, but with the cap, your tooth should resume normal function.

At times the tooth requiring treatment has a complex root or the infection is such that it needs a specialist to examine and complete root canal therapy. Dr. Whipple will work closely with our endodontic specialist to review your treatment case, send necessary records to their office, and place the crown restoration after your root canal is completed. Our office staff will help coordinate your appointments, and help you understand your financial responsibility.

Please contact our Tigard, OR office for more information about endodontic therapy.