Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canal procedures are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry, and the most common procedure relating to Endodontics. When the nerves in the root of the tooth becomes infected for any variety of reasons, the infected nerves will need to be removed. If left untreated, an infection in the root of the tooth can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.
To perform root canal therapy, the infected tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening to gain access into the canal, or canals if the tooth has more than one root. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal(s). After the infection has been removed, the space is filled with a sealant called gutta percha.
We highly recommended that once a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy, it is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, help to prevent the tooth from fracturing, and will make it much more likely that the root canal procedure is successful.
"Root canal" has become a scary term for dental 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 pain medications are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but we may prescribe a stronger pain medication if needed. The procedure normally will relieve you from pain caused by the infection, allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.
If you are experiencing pain following a root canal procedure, please contact us today.