Root Canal Therapy

Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth.  Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and also the most common procedure relating to endodontics.  When a tooth becomes infected, the infection is usually caused by the nerves in the root of the tooth.  The infected nerves need to be removed.  If left untreated, an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.

The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure.  The dentist will then make an opening in the top of the tooth to access the canal.  That allows them to be able to remove the infected tissue and clean the canal.  After the infection has been removed, the space is filled with a sealant called gutta percha.  It is highly recommended that a crown be fabricated for a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.  The reason for this is that after the nerve is taken out of the tooth, the tooth becomes very brittle and can break easily.  A crown will help ensure that the tooth does not break.   It will also improve the appearance of the tooth and will make it much more likely that the root canal treatment is successful.

“Root canal” has become a scary term for patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary.”  Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases.  There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures.  Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication.  The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection, allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain form heat, cold, or biting too hard.  If you are experiencing pain, consult your dentist today.


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