Frequently known as Root Canal Therapy, this procedure involves removing inflamed or damaged tissue from inside a tooth. After this is done the dental team will clean, fill and seal the remaining space. When the tooth is threatened because of decay or being cracked, it is likely that future infection is very likely, and removing the tooth’s pulp (dental pulp) is usually advised to prevent future infection. If the pulp which is composed of nerves, arterioles, venules, and lymphatic and fibrous tissues become diseased or if it is injured, they will most likely perform an endodontic treatment to save the tooth.
Think of the pulp as a security and alarm system for your tooth. When there is a small amount of decay in the tooth structure that extends to the dentine it may not send an alarm signal to the pulp, but once the dentine is exposed, usually from dental caries or trauma, sensitivity starts. First you will feel a cold sensation through your tooth when you eat or drink certain foods. At this stage simple restorations are used as treatment. When decaying progresses near the pulp the reaction is magnified and the sensations to hot and cold foods/ drinks affect the teeth and increase sensitivities. Described as pulpitis and in serious cases root canal therapy is called for. Traumatized pulp starts an inflammatory response and because of the hard and closed surroundings, the pressure builds up and compresses the nerve fibers, and extreme pain is more than probable. Usually at this stage the pulp begins to die and progresses to chronic pulpitis (abscess formation).
Sometimes before a root canal is performed a patient might develop a fluid-filled gum blister also known as an abscess tooth. The problem with this is that the pus that is contained in the abscess can contain acids that inactivate any anesthetic that would be injected around the tooth. Sometimes an incision must be used to drain the abscess and let it drain out. Usually this pressure builds up from the abscess and causes pain. At this time medication will be administered and then at a later date they will be able to administer the anesthetic.
No need to fear
Root Canals are still one of the most feared dental procedures. Today Dental Professionals emphasize that the root canal treatment is relatively painless because pain can be controlled with local anesthetic and pain control medication can be used before and after the treatment if the dentist recommends it.
We are here to help
Dr. Archer and her team take particular care to treat patients who are fearful or anxious about going to the Dentist. They will place you or your family member at ease and make you as comfortable as possible.