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Root Canal Therapy


A diagram of the tooth after a <span itemprop='name'>root canal</span> has cleaned out the infection and placed a filling.A diagram of a tooth that has decay and damage from an infection.Some teeth break down over time, it is just par for the course as we age. However, some teeth break down due to decay as well. When you have a tooth that is breaking down, sometimes you will need to have it pulled, but other times, that tooth can be saved. If you have a tooth that still has strong components to it, you may be a prime candidate for root canal therapy.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?


Endodontic therapy, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is when your dentist goes in and removes the damaged and infected part of your tooth's pulp, and fills it with what is known as gutta-percha, and some dental-safe cement, capping the canals with a temporary filling placed on top. When that has healed up, you would then get a crown placed over the top, and then go about your normal routine. Most root canals are incredibly successful at saving the damaged or injured tooth, but not all, so your dentist will have to speak to you about the chances that this will save your tooth.

Why Have a Root Canal?


Once the nerve within your tooth is damaged to the point of it being infected or dying, you will likely find yourself needing root canal therapy. However, there are other reasons you could need it as well, such as:

•  The tooth has an abscess near the root tip or within the structure of the tooth
•  The tooth is extremely worn down due to grinding, also known as bruxism
•  You had some type of trauma to your tooth
•  The tooth would die without some type of intervention


How Is Root Canal Therapy Performed?


When you come to one of the experienced dentists at Dougherty Dental for root canal therapy, there is a standard order that the procedure will take place in. During your first visit, your dentist is going to numb your tooth, then use a rubber dam to keep everything around that tooth completely dry during the whole procedure. A hole will be drilled into the top part of the tooth, and all of the dying or infected pulp and tooth matter will be extracted. Your dentist will put medication into the space within the tooth, and you will get a temporary filling put on top of this area to protect the inside of your tooth.

During your second visit, after your mouth has had time to heal, you will then have the temporary filling removed, and have a work-up done to place a permanent crown over the enamel of that tooth. This will keep your tooth from further damage or decay, and restore the full function of your tooth.


Most of the time, you can get root canal therapy from the trusted professionals at Dougherty Dental, but when your case is extreme, we will suggest that you see a specialist instead. We will help you get an appointment with someone that we work closely with, and we will work with them during the entire process so that your dental history and records are able to be taken into account. Then, once the endodontic specialist has completed your root canal, we will then resume your care, placing the crown over the affected tooth after it heals.

For anyone in need of root canal therapy, contact the offices at Dougherty Dental today. We can get your information, find out what kind of coverage your insurance offers, and schedule your appointment to get this taken care of. The sooner you are able to get in and taken care of, the more likely we will be successful when it comes to saving your tooth.

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Dougherty Dental | www.doughertydental.com | (503) 455-4517
1809 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209
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