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Root Canal

Four Corners Dental and Dentures

James D Moore, DDS

General Dentistry & Dental Implants located in Bodo Park, Durango, CO

If you’re in danger of needing an extraction, root canal treatment can preserve your natural tooth. Board-certified general dentist James Moore, DDS, performs root canal therapy at Four Corners Dental and Dentures in Durango, Colorado. This tooth-saving treatment removes bacteria from the center of your tooth to prevent further infection. To learn more, call Four Corners Dental and Dentures or schedule an appointment online today.

Root Canal Q&A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a tooth-saving treatment that removes infected or inflamed tissue from the center of your tooth. The pulp, a soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels, is vital during your early tooth development. However, once your tooth fully matures, it no longer needs the pulp. 

When decay develops in your tooth, it can travel toward the center and infect the pulp. The best way to prevent the infection from continuing to spread is removing the pulp. Once removed, Dr. Moore can replace your pulp with a biocompatible material.

Why would I need a root canal?

Deep decay can inflame, irritate, and infect the tooth pulp. When tooth decay, injury, or trauma damages the pulp, the tissue starts to break down. As the pulp deteriorates, bacteria can multiply within the tooth chamber, increasing your risk of infection.

A tooth infection isn’t just painful. It’s also dangerous to your overall health. Without treatment, a tooth infection can evolve into an abscess — a pus-filled sac that forms at the end of a tooth root. Abscesses may even rupture and spread harmful bacteria throughout your mouth that can enter the bloodstream.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Root canal treatment may be right for you if you’re experiencing signs of a tooth infection or severe decay. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swollen gums
  • Facial pain
  • Swelling around the face and jaw
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Tenderness around the gums

Small pimples on the gums near the affected tooth are common signs of an abscess. Early intervention can help prevent the abscess from rupturing.

What happens during a root canal?

When you arrive for root canal treatment, Dr. Moore and the team administer an anesthetic to numb your affected tooth. Next, they create a small access hole in the center of your tooth. They use special dental instruments to remove the pulp and disinfect the tooth chamber. 

Once the chamber is completely clear, Dr. Moore and the team fill it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. Finally, they seal the access hole to prevent reinfection. If your tooth is vulnerable to infection, Dr. Moore may recommend placing a dental crown — a tooth-shaped cap — for additional protection.

To learn more about root canal treatment, call Four Corners Dental and Dentures or schedule an appointment online today.