Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Treatment / Endodontics
Root canals are also known as endodontic treatment, which refers to the fact that the procedure is done to the inside of the tooth (“endo”). They’re required when the pulp of the tooth (the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues inside the tooth) becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay or trauma. These conditions can become very serious and are generally quite painful. Though you might be nervous about the idea of getting a root canal, rest assured that it’s much better than the alternative!
Endodontic treatment begins with numbing the surrounding area so that you won’t feel a thing while the dentist is working on your tooth. If you’re experiencing a lot of tension and anxiety, your dentist may be able to give you a sedative to help you relax during the procedure. After you’re ready, he or she will place a dental dam over your mouth to isolate the affected tooth.
The dentist will drill a small hole into your tooth to provide access into the part that contains the pulp. Using special instruments, he’ll then remove any diseased or dead tissue and flush out the canals with antiseptic and antibacterial solution to completely eradicate the infection. This also prevents your tooth from feeling pain. After it’s rinsed and disinfected again, the inner chamber of your tooth will be sealed off with a rubber-like material. This prevents the exposed area from being subject to re-infection. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to help your body recover from the infection.
Finally, a permanent restoration must be applied to keep your tooth strong and healthy. Depending on how much of the tooth’s original structure is still intact, your dentist will likely recommend either a filling or a dental crown.