Endodontics describes procedures that deal with unhealthy teeth as opposed to unhealthy gums (although the two are often related). The most common endodontic procedure is a root canal, which is required when the soft tissue inside your tooth — otherwise known as the pulp — becomes infected or inflamed.
The root canal’s bad reputation began decades ago when modern technologies and anesthetics were not as effective as what is currently used in clinical practice. Nowadays, root canals and other endodontic treatments can be completed quickly and comfortably, putting those previous stereotypes to rest.
If you notice prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold or tooth tenderness to the touch (either with food or your finger), book an appointment so your dentist can examine the issue.
Leaving an infected tooth untreated could lead to much more complicated conditions including an abscess, which could result in extraction, as well as other more serious medical issues.
The root canal procedure
Dr. Bettina Basrani is our on-site endodontist.
- First, she anesthetizes the tooth and covers it with a dental dam to prevent saliva from contaminating the procedure.
- Next, she uses sodium hypochlorite to clean out the infected pulp from the canals that lead down to the tooth’s roots (hence, the word root canal).
- After the space is cleaned and shaped, she fills the canals with a rubber-like material and seals the canal shut with a temporary filling.
- A crown is then placed on top of the tooth to offer long-term protection.
The video explains the root canal procedure
The advantage of root canal treatment
Avoiding the extraction of the infected tooth is the biggest advantage of a root canal treatment
The disadvantage of root canal treatment
Following the procedure, the tooth is more fragile and can be prone to chipping or fracture. This is why a crown is often recommended after root canal treatment.