Root Canals: Save Your Natural Teeth

Root Canals

Root canal therapy fits under the special dentistry area known as endodontics. Endodontics literally means dentistry within the tooth itself. The procedure treats disorders of the pulp (the soft tissue inside the crown and roots made up of blood vessels, nerves and lymph vessels that help keep your tooth nourished). Endodontic treatment restores your tooth to a comfortable state by removing the damaged tissue and replacing it with a substance that will help preserve the function of the tooth.


There are many reasons that a root canal may be needed but the most common cause is the carious process (the uncontrolled process of tooth decay). When tooth decay begins, it penetrates the outer layer of enamel and creates a cavity. If that process is not stopped, the decay will continue toward the nerve of the tooth. Other causes include a fracture that exposes the pulp, traumatic injury such as a blow to a tooth, a cracked or loose filling or repeated fillings in a tooth and occasionally from periodontal (gum) disease. Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and an abscess (infection) can occur. Bacteria grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain. Eventually the pulp dies, causing the bone around the tooth to be destroyed.


All dentists receive training in endodontic therapy, however, you may be referred to an endodontist, a specialist who limits his/her practice to root canal procedures. The sooner you get treatment the better; your risk of losing the damaged tooth is decreased, your pain can be relieved, and your dentist may prevent infection from spreading further.


A Tooth Tour

If you learn how healthy teeth can become damaged, you will understand why root canal therapy may be the best treatment to restore your mouth to a healthy state.


The Procedure

Once it has been determined (with x-rays and clinical examination) that root canal treatment is necessary, you will be scheduled for one or more appointments. Your visits may last one to two hours, and you will receive local anesthesia. A rubber dam (a protective sheet of rubber that covers your mouth) may be used to isolate your tooth and prevent bacteria from entering it. The goal of the root canal therapy is to improve the health of your damaged tooth by removing the damaged pulp and bacteria from your root canals through a small opening in the crown. Then the canals are sealed with special materials to prevent bacteria from reaching your bone. Your dentist then restores the outside of your tooth so it will function properly and have a healthy appearance. After root canal therapy, outer ligaments of the roots continue to be nourished by your surrounding gums and bone.

  • Cleaning and shaping your root canals - First, your dentist makes an opening in your tooth and removes any filling and decay. Then, the unhealthy pulp is removed with tiny, flexible files. By using delicate, up-and down motions, your dentist gently cleans and smooths your canals to prepare them for the canal-filling materials.
  • Filling your root canals - After the pulp has been removed from your root canals and they have been smoothed, your dentist may fill the canals with tiny cone-shaped pieces of gutta-percha, a firm, rubberlike material, or use another dental material. A sealer-cement is used to seal the filling material into place.
  • Restoring you tooth - After the inside of your tooth has been treated the outside will be restored to protect your tooth’s underlying structures and to give it a healthy appearance. If your tooth needs extra support, some of the gutta-percha may be removed and a post inserted before the filling and crown are applied.

Hours of Operation

Monday: 7 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday: 7 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 7 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 7 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM
Saturday: 8 AM - 4 PM
Sunday: Closed

We proudly provide general, family, and cosmetic dental services to residents of the following neighborhoods of NW Calgary:

Address: 650, 1110 Panatella Blvd. NW
Calgary, AB, T3K 0S6
Corner of Panatella Blvd & Panatella Street NW
Phone: 403-226-4788
Fax: 403-226-4791

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