Root canal treatment is a necessary procedure with an undeservedly bad reputation. It is perceived as a long, drawn-out, extremely uncomfortable procedure, when in reality it’s usually no more uncomfortable than having a filling or a crown. Though the length of the procedure can vary, again, it is usually similar to the amount of time spent on other types of restorations.
What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve?
The root canal treatment, usually performed by an endodontist, removes all the soft tissue from the tooth’s interior, which is called the root canal. This soft tissue is called the pulp, and consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes infected or is damaged, a root canal procedure is often necessary in order to save the tooth.
The endodontist drills a hole in the tooth and uses a series of files to remove all the infected tissue from the pulp and from the inside surfaces of the root canal. He might then fill the tooth with medication to clear out the last of the infection, or he might seal it. After the tooth is sealed, the hole is filled, and in most cases the tooth is prepared for a dental crown. You’ll wear a temporary crown for a few days until your final crown is ready. During this time, it’s important to be careful with your tooth to prevent damage that could introduce more infection.
Why Would I Need Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is most often used when a tooth has been:
- Broken off
- Damaged by a large filling
- Damaged in an accident
Severe decay is also a common cause of infection inside the tooth. Infection can easily spread to other teeth, into the jawbone, and elsewhere, sometimes leading to severe side effects. An untreated infection in the tooth can even be fatal. If you experience extreme discomfort or sensitivity, you should see your dentist or our endodontist as soon as possible for a thorough examination and diagnosis.
Call us at Access Endodontics today for an appointment or consultation.