Root Canals: Healing Teeth from the Inside
Endodontics (‘inside the tooth’ in Greek) describes procedures that deal with unhealthy teeth as opposed to unhealthy gums (although the two are often related). The most common endodontic procedure is a root canal, which is required when the soft tissue inside your tooth — otherwise known as the pulp — gets infected or inflamed.
The root canal’s bad reputation began decades ago when modern technologies and anesthetics were not what they are today. Nowadays, root canals and other endodontic treatments can be completed quickly and comfortably, putting those previous stereotypes to rest.
If you notice prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold or tooth tenderness to the touch (either with food or your finger), please come in so we can examine the issue.
Leaving an infected tooth untreated could lead to much more complicated conditions including an abscess, which could result in extraction, as well as other more serious medical issues.
How are root canals performed?
Dr. Bettina Basrani is our on-site endodontist, and she makes root canals as easy as possible.
- First, she numbs the tooth and covers it with a dental dam to prevent saliva from contaminating the procedure.
- Next, she cleans out the infected pulp from the canals that lead down to the tooth’s roots (hence, root canal).
- After the space is cleaned and shaped, she fills the canals with a rubber-like material and seals the canal shut with a temporary filling.
- Once that’s all done, you make an appointment with your dentist to fit the tooth with a crown to protect it for good.
Caring for your mouth after a root canal
In the time between your root canal and when your tooth is fitted with a crown, the tooth is susceptible to fracture. You should avoid chewing or biting on it as much as possible. Other than that, with proper care, your treated tooth should last a very long time.