Early & Late Hours Available // Same-Day Dental Emergencies

Request an Appointment

Root Canal Procedure for Infected Tooth Nerve

A root canal is the treatment done to your tooth when decay has injured or already killed a single tooth or a couple of teeth. The pulp and nerve at the center of the tooth gets infected by bacteria and dies. It is a painful and growing infection. This can spread and infect the other teeth in your mouth. This type of infection shows the following symptoms:

  • Deep cavity
  • Trauma
  • Fracture
  • etc.

Root canal is the procedure of replacing the damaged pulp. The infected nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned out during this treatment.

If your dentist in Puyallup says that you have a cavity in your tooth and it needs to be filled, do not ignore his advice. A single infected pulp can infect other teeth and it can occur in teeth more quickly once it has begun to spread.  If you let the infection spread, it may be necessary to visit a good endodontist.

Root Canal Procedure


To begin the process, an endodontist will take an x-ray of your infected tooth. To get a clear idea of the work that has been done by your family dentist, this is necessary. The x-ray will show a diagram of the damage and the number of affected teeth.


Before touching any interior part of your mouth, your dentist will overlay some anesthetic around the tooth. If your tooth is badly damaged or the nerve cells near the jaw are already dead, there is no need to use anesthetic or pain killer gel.

Some teeth may be sensitive to local anesthetic and it may not suit your teeth. If that is the case, your dentist will use one of the special anesthetics below, which may be more suitable to your mouth. In this case, a normal pain killer will cause extra pain.

• Formaldehyde

• Sodium hypochlorite

• Gutta percha (contains metal salt), etc.

Pulp Removing – Rubber Dam

To remove decayed pulp from inside of the tooth, a rubber dam is created around the infected area. Some chemicals are used during root canal inside the mouth. The rubber dam prevents them from being swallowed or being breathed into the lungs.

Your dentist will space out the tooth to access the sensitive tissues and target the pulp. He will find them and remove them from the tooth. If there are any germs found accumulated inside of the tooth, the dentist will drain them out while removing the pulp.

Some small temporary fillings are then placed to enlarge the canal. These fillings have a regular shape and need to be placed accordingly to fill up the root perfectly. It may take some extra time or you may have to pay for an extra visit for this.

Refreshing the Tooth

On your next visit, the temporary filling is removed and the root canal filling is inserted to kill any remaining bacteria. It is a well-fitted filling, which will bind your tooth and prevent future infection.

The tooth may lose its natural color after filling. In this case your dentist will apply some whitening chemicals over the tooth.

Crowns or Cap

A crown covers the tooth to make it look real and resize it. The shape of crown is made by the mold of your tooth to make sure your tooth retains its previous shape. Cementing liquid or glue is used to place the crown and hold it into your mouth.

Can it Reoccur?

Tooth pulp can get infected a second time after a root canal. It may be necessary to do another root canal to your tooth. If the previous treatment is of a higher standard and your tooth is infected again, it should only take a small operation. This operation is called apicoectomy. Make sure you pick an experienced dentist. Do not hesitate to look for a new dentist if you are not satisfied with his work.

About Dr. Samuel Kwon

Dr. Kwon graduated from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2004. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from UCLA. Dr. Kwon has been practing dentistry for over 10 years at his practice in Puyallup, WA.

View All Posts
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply