The Basics of Root Canal Therapy

model of tooth and root canalsRoot canal treatment, or RCT, is a restorative treatment designed to save a tooth from complete destruction when it’s been severely consumed by tooth decay. Also referred to as endodontic treatment, root canal therapy describes removing the infected tissues inside of your tooth, sealing the tooth’s roots, then reinforcing the tooth and sealing the root canals. Contrary to popular belief, the procedure involves little discomfort; in fact, the severe toothache caused by the infection might only be relieved after the root canals have been treated.

Signs That You Need Root Canal Therapy

As tooth decay progresses through your tooth, its symptoms will vary depending on the stage that it is in. In its earliest stage, before a cavity fully develops, tooth decay might not generate more than a slight twinge when exposed to hot and cold substances. Once a cavity is present, the aching will grow worse, and by the time you need root canal treatment, your symptoms may include;

  • Severe, throbbing pain in the tooth and surrounding gum tissues
  • Noticeable discoloration originating from within the tooth
  • Bad breath due to odors emanating from the tooth’s infected tissues
  • An abscess, or pocket of infection, that forms at the tooth’s root (if not treated, the abscess can cause serious damage to the jawbone and gum tissues around it)

What it Entails

Though vitally important, most root canal procedures aren’t as complicated as many patients believe. Barring any unusual circumstances, we can perform root canal therapy on most anterior teeth, usually within the same day. After accessing the tooth’s interior and cleaning away the infected tissues inside, we’ll clean and seal the root canals so bacteria can’t spread through them. Then, we’ll fill the tooth with a dental filling and cap it with a custom-made crown to complete your tooth’s restoration, inside and out.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-918-3038.