Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to 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 tooth is opened and the infected nerve removed. The canals are cleaned and the space is filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a molar tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will reduce the chances of fracture, as a tooth is more likely to break after a root canal has been done.
“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 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. The procedure will also 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.
Our office offers root canals on most front and side teeth. Molar root canals are generally referred to the Endodontist, or root canal specialist in our area. We will evaluate your tooth and make the proper referrals as necessary.