Endodontics and Root Canal Therapy
Endodontics might be an unfamiliar word, but it has a pretty simple meaning: “endo” means “inside” and “dont” means “tooth.” Endodontics is actually a dental specialty that deals with the study and treatment of the dental pulp.
What is the dental pulp? It is actually the innermost portion of your tooth, consisting of blood vessels and even the nerve of the tooth. This is why you’re able to feel your teeth.
Sometimes, this dental pulp can become damaged or infected, and when it does, this can cause a tremendous amount of pain for a patient. We’re talking about a next level toothache, the kind of thing that would make you stay home from work or school.
To help treat this particular area of the tooth, a procedure known as root canal therapy can help provide relief. Because it deals with such a sensitive area, it’s best to have it performed by an endodontist, which is a specialist when it comes to this part of the tooth. Wayland Dental is very lucky to have our own endodontist on-staff, Dr. Tevyah Dines. With his expertise, he’s able to effectively relieve this unique kind of dental pain and save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
On this page, he’s going to share how a root canal works and the reasons why you might need one in the first place. Root canal therapy is one of the most misunderstood procedures in all of dentistry despite being one of the most useful, and with a little information, we hope we can finally remove the stigma from this helpful treatment.
Why Would You Need a Root Canal?
As mentioned above, root canal therapy is used to treat a tooth that has damage or an infection in the dental pulp. How does this happen? Typically, it comes down to two main causes.
First, a cavity has been left untreated for a very long time. Cavities normally start on the outermost layer of a tooth, the enamel, but over time, the decay can eventually reach the pulp and impact the nerve. The other main cause is dental trauma, in which a tooth is fractured or cracked, and this can expose the dental pulp to bacteria.
In either case, when the dental pulp is affected, it may cause the following symptoms:
- Severe dental pain
- A lump or swelling on the gums near a particular tooth
- Pain biting down on a tooth
- Increased dental sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
How a Root Canal Works
In order to take away these symptoms and save the tooth from being extracted, root canal therapy is typically the best approach. Many people mistake this procedure for being extremely painful when it is actually the infection that is the real culprit. Root canals are the solution to pain, not the cause!
When you come into Wayland dental to get a root canal, the first step is to thoroughly numb the area that is going to be treated. This will ensure that you’ll be completely comfortable the entire time. Then:
- A small hole will be created to reach the dental pulp
- It will be removed
- The tooth will be cleaned and disinfected
- It will be filled with a medicated packing.
- It will then be capped with a temporary crown, and at a follow-up appointment, it will be fully restored using a dental crown.
Most of the time, a root canal can be completed in one visit and take about 30-90 minutes depending on a patient’s particular situation. In any case, you can trust that your comfort will always be a top priority.
Have Any Questions?
Hopefully this cleared up any of the mystery surrounding root canals. Should you ever need one, you can be confident in the knowledge that at Wayland Dental, you’ll be treated by a true expert in the field, and he’ll know exactly how to make sure your procedure is virtually pain-free.
If you’re currently experiencing any of the symptoms above, or if you would like to learn more about this treatment, please contact us today.