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12 Porter Street
Melrose, MA 02176

(781) 665-1552


Mon.   7:15am – 5:30pm
Tues.  7:15am – 5:30pm
Wed.   7:15am – 7:30pm
Thurs. 7:15am – 5:30pm



Melrose Family Dental Services

Root Canal

Root canal treatment removes tissue from inside the tooth that has been damaged by trauma or infected by decay. The tissue is the nerve or pulp that contains blood vessels that help nourish the tooth. Although the nerve is removed, the treated tooth remains functional.

Root Canal

Signs of needing a root canal

Sometimes no symptoms are present; however these are some signs that a root canal may be needed.

  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

Reasons the nerve needs to be removed.

A tooth’s nerve can become irritated, inflamed and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large filling, and a crack in the tooth or trauma to the face.

When the nerve is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria multiply in the canal. The bacteria can cause infection or abscess. Once this happens the nerve needs to be removed to save the tooth.


A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. An opening is made into the tooth and the canals are cleaned out using different size files. Once the canal is clean it is sealed with a rubber compound called gutta percha. This is the root canal procedure which would be performed by a root canal specialist called an Endodontist.

The final step will involve a permanent restoration that is done by a general dentist. A tooth that has had a root canal becomes brittle and weaker in time, therefore will need to be restored with a crown. A front tooth may only need a permanent filling as the biting pressure is less than back teeth.

Root canals are highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth treated with a root canal can last a lifetime.


Digital X-Rays


Crowns & Bridges




Dentures & Partials