Endodontics are dental procedures that deal with the nerves of the teeth. 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 dentist will then create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant. For the root canal to be successful, the tooth must be fitted with a crown or filling.
The term "root canal" is often times described in a negative light. With the advances in dental technology, root canals are now painless with a very high success rate. In fact, we tell our patients that a root canal is not a long drawn out procedure as it has in the past. This procedure can be done in a little over an hour. Local anesthetics and pain medication 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, but your dentist may prescribe medication. 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. If you are experiencing pain, consult your dentist today.