Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are certainly the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it can affect the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves may need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which means the bone and other surrounding tissues are also involved.
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. Following that, if any discomfort is present, Dr Steele will stop and promises to find a way to numb it further. Dr Steele will then open into the tooth to create access into the canal. (The roots are like small pipes and therefore the canal is like the hollow inside of the pipe.) He 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. It is highly recommended that a back tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will protect the tooth from potential fracture, make it look more natural, and as a result make it more likely to remain in your mouth your entire life time.
"Root canal" has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less "scary". Local anesthetics and proper 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 Dr Steele may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain, allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any discomfort from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain call our office today.