Root Canals

Root canals are the hollow channels reaching from the central chamber to the bottom of the tooth roots.  The endodontic root canal treatment is often called by the same name, through endodontists and other dental professionals also refer to it as a root canal procedure, therapy, or surgery.

It is important to visit a dentist who specializes in endodontics when symptoms of a root canal problem first emerge.  When you experience tooth pain or have a deep cavity, an endodontist may determine that a root canal is necessary.  The endodontist will first take x-rays to find out how close the damage is to the nerve inside the pulp chamber of the tooth.  If a cavity is found near to the pulp, the pulp may have already become infected.  In this case, a root canal procedure will remove any infected tissue and eliminate the pain in that area.  If a tooth infection is left untreated, the patient may lose the tooth completely.

The Root Canal Procedure 
When you receive a root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist will enter the pulp chamber and remove the tissue within it, as well as clear any remaining nerve tissue from the roto canals. Once the tooth’s interior is cleaned out, the dentist or endodontist will widen the root canal slightly and straighten the pulp chamber to prepare it for a filling. The inside of the tooth is then disinfected and dried. When the tooth has been properly prepared, the root canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha filling. The pulp chamber is packed with cotton, and a temporary filling is used to seal the opening and prevent further infection

After the root canal procedure is complete, a new biting surface for the tooth will be created. In most cases, the dentist may do this with an amalgam filling, tooth-colored composite filling, or a dental crown. To ensure that your new biting surface fits your bite properly, this restoration may take several visits.

Root canals are performed under a local anesthetic. This makes it so that the procedure is generally no more uncomfortable than getting a dental filling. More anesthetic may be injected directly into the nerve of the tooth after the dentist or endodontist has breached the pulp chamber.

Pain Following a Root Canal 
Root canal procedures have earned a reputation for pain.  When an endodontist or dentist performs a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp tissue of the affected tooth is removed to eliminate pain from the damaged tooth and to remove the infected tissue.  A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy should be free of pain and structurally strong.

If you are concerned about pain following your treatment, discuss your fears with your dentist or endodontist before your surgery.  There are a variety of sedation dentistry treatment available to make your experience more comfortable and less stressful.