Dr. Michael C. Hattaway
Family Dentistry


                                        1317 Central Drive
                                       Sanford, NC 27330

                                                PO Box 2517
                                        Sanford, NC 27331

                                  Phone: (919) 775-2522
                                      Fax: (919) 774-5639
lisa_hattaway@windstream.net frontdesk_hattaway@windstream.net


What are root canals?

Root canal treatment usually involves the removal of the tooth's pulp. The pulp is the heart of tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Teeth have only one pulp chamber but may have more than one root and several canals.

Why do I need a root canal treatment?

If the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it loses its vitality. The most common causes of needing a root canal are a deep cavity, a crack, or traumatic injury to the tooth, which can allow bacteria to leak into the pulp. Even if there is no pain, certain substances released by bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment the tooth may need an extraction.

What steps are involved in saving the tooth?

An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.

The pulp is carefully removed from both the pulp chamber and the canal(s). The canal(s) are then cleaned and then a medication may be placed in the pulp chamber and root canals to help eliminate bacteria.

A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from getting into the chamber and canal. You might also be given antibiotics if infection is present and has spread beyond the end of the root(s).

During next stage of treatment, the temporary filling is removed. The canals are filled with a biocompatible material, called gutta percha then sealed with a filling.

Additional treatments will be necessary to fully restore the treated tooth.  Often a post is inserted inside the tooth and a crown is placed on the tooth which will allow for stability for years to come.