The Purpose of Root Canal Therapy

image of root canalRoot canal therapy may be one of the scariest treatments dentists can provide, but they’re also something that usually can’t be avoided without causing serious harm to your teeth. The treatment is generally part of an effort to save what’s left of your tooth before it has to be extracted, which most dentists try to avoid because of the oral health problems that can be caused by missing teeth. Root canal therapy can cleanse your tooth of infection and add extra protection to maintain your tooth for years to come.

Why You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Although treatments are generally referred to as having a root canal, the root canal is actually the part of the tooth that lets nutrients flow from the jaw into the rest of the tooth. Bacteria attacks the first layer of your tooth with acid, which can wear a hole through your enamel. Once this occurs, the tooth decay will continue, if not stopped, until it reaches the pulp (the inner chamber of your tooth which contains nerves and blood vessels).

When the pulp becomes infected, we can often fix the tooth with root canal therapy. However, if the treatment is not performed, the infection can continue until tooth extraction is the only option, or the infection reaches your gums and jaw.

The Process of Root Canal Therapy

To begin root canal therapy, we will administer anesthesia that will numb the tooth and the surrounding areas, then access the tooth’s interior to remove the infected material of the pulp. The inside of the pulp will be cleaned, and then filled with a temporary filling. At a separate appointment, we will remove the temporary filling, and replace it with sturdier material. If necessary, we will place a crown on your tooth to help prevent any further damage.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michele Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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