What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal is actually a misleading name for the treatment that removes and replaces damaged or infected dental pulp. The root canal of a tooth is what the name suggests, it is a canal that runs from the inner pulp layers of teeth, through the root, and connects the nerves to the gum tissue. Root canal therapy takes its name from this infection which may spread into the tooth roots and out into the gums and jawbone. Root canal therapy is actually the removal of damaged or infected pulp, nerves, and other tooth structures to relieve toothache pain and restore dental shape, strength, and function.
How are Root Canals Performed?
Root canals have a bad reputation for being very painful, but actually, modern techniques have made this treatment no less comfortable than other dental restorations like crowns and bridges. This bad reputation actually stems from the severe toothache that precedes root canals rather than the procedure itself. The root canal process is often completed in a single visit, but we may recommend patients have a dental crown placed to protect and strengthen their teeth, which requires two appointments.
We begin by numbing the area to be treated. In some cases, we may also recommend the use of dental sedation to ensure optimal comfort and safety for patients. Once patients are completely comfortable, we drill a small hole in the top of the tooth, and carefully extract the damaged tissue. Once all of the infected pulp, nerve, and dental structure is removed, we replace it with a similar biocompatible substance, and reseal the access hole. When necessary, we also design and place dental crown for optimal restoration.