Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year thanks to root canals, or endodontic treatment. Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals specifically with the nerves of the teeth, and a root canal is the most common endodontic procedure.
When a tooth becomes infected, it is often related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The nerves need to be removed; if left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess which can have much more serious consequences including bone loss in the jaw.
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist at Downingtown Family Dentistry will then drill down into the tooth to 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 is filled with a sealant called gutta percha. Our office highly recommends that a tooth which has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.
Root Canal is often synonymous with pain, however the advances in technology have made the procedure much less scary and, in most cases, virtually pain free. There will likely be soreness following the procedure; this is completely normal and over the counter painkillers are typically enough to relieve any discomfort.