Saunders Family Dental, Ogden Utah


Root Canal

Root Canal, or endodontics, is the process of removing the nerves from the roots of a tooth and filling the space with gutta percha (a rubber material). A root canal is often necessary to save an abscessed or infected tooth. If an infected tooth is left alone for a long period of time, an abscess can form. An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root. This is actually bone loss in the jaw. It is very important to catch this problem before it deteriorates too far and more bone is lost.



The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize (numb) the effected area. Next we will open an access point through the top, or biting surface of the tooth. The doctor will then determine a working length of each canal and each canal is then cleaned and shaped in preparation for the filling material. Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha and then sealed. The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown. This entire procedure is most often completed in two visits.



Why do you need a root canal?

There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal. These can include but are not limited to, a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve, a dying or dead tooth, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth.



  • Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
  • Moderate to severe pain after biting and upon opening
  • Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
  • Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night or aches spontaneously
  • A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
  • Swelling of face or area of mouth around the tooth