Within each tooth there is a collection of nerves and tissue. This is commonly referred to as the "pulp" of a tooth. When a cavity is left untreated for too long, so much of the tooth wears away that this pulp can become exposed. This can cause severe pain, can make chewing especially difficult, and it can lead to infection.
Endodontic treatment involves numbing the affected area and drilling into the tooth to access this pulp. When this is done, our dentists then use specialized tools designed to clear away debris and unwanted matter from the root of the tooth. Unclean pulp is removed during this process. The space is then filled with a special composite that is meant to aid the healing process and prevent further infection.
In time, the affected tooth can once again function normally. To ensure further protection, it is often suggested that a crown be fitted over the tooth to provide additional strength. In more severe cases, a dental implant may also be inserted.
Though root canals are considered frightening in popular culture, they are in fact a standard and very important treatment. Endodontic procedures can save a cracked or damaged tooth from infection and potential extraction. Call us if you require an endodontic consultation.