Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that deals with the nerves found within teeth. Root canals are perhaps the most infamous dental procedure, and they are closely associated with endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected, it usually involves the nerves located in the root of the tooth. These infected nerves need to be eliminated. If left untreated, an infection can progress into a more serious condition called an abscess, which involves the loss of bone in the jaw.
To initiate the procedure, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed using a local anesthetic. Subsequently, the dentist drills into the tooth to create an opening leading to the canal. This enables the removal of infected tissue and thorough cleansing of the canal. Once the infection has been eradicated, the space is filled with a substance called gutta-percha, which acts as a sealant. It is highly recommended to cap a tooth that has undergone a root canal with a crown. This not only enhances the tooth’s appearance but also significantly increases the likelihood of a successful root canal treatment.
The term “root canal” may evoke fear in dental patients, but advancements in dental technology and the benefits of the procedure have diminished its daunting reputation. The use of local anesthetics and appropriate pain medication ensures that the procedure is generally performed with minimal to no discomfort. Some mild soreness following the procedure is normal, as is the case with most dental treatments. Typically, over-the-counter pain relievers are sufficient for alleviating any post-procedural pain, although your dentist may prescribe medication if needed. Moreover, the procedure relieves the pain caused by the infection, allowing you to savor your favorite foods without experiencing discomfort from hot or cold temperatures, or when biting down forcefully. If you are currently experiencing dental pain, it is advisable to promptly consult your dentist.