Root Canal Therapy

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy (called endodontic therapy by dentists) is necessary after a cavity has gone untreated for an extended period of time. An untreated cavity will eventually begin to cause decay in the pulp tissue of the tooth. This decay can even extend through the root and down into the surrounding bone structure. Ultimately, this will have serious consequences in the way of major pain and possible health issues in the rest of your body. Infected pulp tissue will not heal on its own. This is when a dentist will need to perform root canal therapy on the infected pulp, the root, and down into the tooth canal. This is really the dentist’s last option to prevent the necessity of a tooth extraction. After the dentist has removed the infected tissue, he will fill the tooth canal in order to protect the tooth against repeated infection in the future. Usually, he will need to follow the root canal with a core build up and a crown for additional strength and protection to the tooth.


An infected tooth pulp will be recognizable by symptoms such as extra sensitivity to extreme temperatures, extra sensitivity to sugar-filled foods, intense pain, swelling, pain from the pressure of biting, or possibly a bad taste in the mouth of the patient. However, it is important to note that an infected pulp area may exhibit no noticeable symptoms and may only be discovered by a check up at the dentist office.

Traditionally, most patients shy away from any possibility of a root canal. It is crucial that patients understand that a root canal is a beneficial tool that is available.  It may be the only way that your dentist can resolve your extreme pain, deal with the infection, and still preserve your natural teeth. A skilled dentist with good training and experience will be able to conduct a root canal with nearly no pain.

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  • I have a fear of needles, and due to that, I had let the condition of my teeth and mouth deteriorate. Thanks to the patience and gentle care of Dr. Shelly and his staff, I was able to have my teeth put back into great condition. Several long procedures were performed with sedation dentistry. During these procedures, I had no discomfort or pain. I am now a firm believer in sedation dentistry and Dr. Shelly in particular. I would recommend Dr. Shelly and his staff to anyone.
  • I just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Lee & Dr. Fort for taking the time to provide the care I needed on such short notice yesterday to get me in for the root canal. I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!! For the first time in over a week, I had a great night's sleep last night! As with all of the staff and three doctors, I am so glad you are all such caring, pleasant, professional people to deal with on a consistent basis. Thank you!
  • I would like to thank your practice for providing excellent service. I received a free exam and x-rays from Dr. Fort and was pleased with the attention, detail and courteous behavior. I think the free exam is a great way to attract clients. Not only that, but the questionnaire regarding any concerns or uncomfortable issues for the patient was appreciated. I had not been to the dentist in many years, and these services made my visit easy. Your office is to be commended for its “bedside manner” – so many health professionals lack that.
  • Just a short note to thank everyone for the wonderful, patient, and caring treatment I received at your office. My anxiety level was sky high when I arranged to have the extensive dental work done; no one could have been more afraid than I was, but you all made it easy for me and thanks to the sedation help, I breezed through it. Many, many thanks to all! P.S. I’m really enjoying having a mouthful of beautiful teeth and chewing is a pleasure!
  • I just wanted to thank you for the movie tickets and for giving my wife such great treatment. I never expected to be rewarded for bugging my wife to get to the dentist. She loves you guys (as I told her for years that she would) and is glad she finally came in. See you again in a couple of months. Take care.
  • I want to thank you for all the great work you have done with the braces and crowns. You do the best work I have seen and it is always a pleasure to come into the office. Your entire staff makes me feel welcome every time I come though the front door. Keep the great team work up. You are all the ‘Best.’
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