When most people think of a painful dental procedure, they think of a root canal. Fortunately, horror stories about root canals can be traced back to early experimental procedures performed by some of the pioneers of dentistry. The modern technology surrounding root canals today allows for a safe procedure that saves millions of teeth each year.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is a procedure designed to save a tooth from disease or injury to the dental pulp. The pulp is the innermost part of a tooth. It contains blood vessels and nerve endings. It extends from the crown of the tooth through root. If the pulp is inflamed or infected, it can cause serious pain. Root canal treatment simply removes the inflamed or infected area. The following steps explain the process of root canal treatment.
- Your mouth will be numbed so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure
- A small plastic shield will be placed around the tooth, keeping it dry and clean
- An opening is made into the crown of the tooth and into the pulp chamber
- Fluid is put into the canals to kill bacteria and rinse out any debris
- The infected or inflamed pulp is removed
- The canals are cleaned and shaped using small instruments
- The canals are filled
- A temporary filling is used until the procedure is completed by a dentist
- Your dentist will properly restore your tooth with a filling or crown
Root canals are performed by an endodontist. Endodontists have advanced training in root canal treatment. Despite the negative connotation behind root canals, millions of treatments are performed effectively, safely, and comfortably each year.
Remember, root canals are often the best solution to stop serious tooth pain and save the tooth.