Like many of our patients, you may have questions about root canal treatment. Root canal is one of those dental terms that’s often talked about, but less often understood. Many people think it’s a painful and mysterious dental secret. The truth is that modern root canal treatment can be performed with little or no discomfort and can be credited with saving more teeth than almost any other treatment in our office.
The part of your tooth under the gumline is called the root. Inside each root there is a channel called the root canal that contains the nerves and blood vessels that bring nutrients to your teeth.
Sometimes gum disease, a fractured tooth or decay under very old fillings can cause these nerves and vessels to become painfully infected and die. Years ago this condition often meant extracting the tooth. But today we use root therapy to treat the infected canal and save the tooth.
We usually administer a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort. Then we make a small opening in the tooth to clean and medicate the inflamed root canal. When the infection is gone, the canal space is filled with a rubber-type material. Your tooth will probably need a crown or filling to strengthen it. Successfully treated teeth last just as long and look just as good as normal teeth. Root canal treatment is a real smile maker!