A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal, and replaces it with strengthening filler.
A cavity is the result of decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.
Endodotics: An endodontist is a specialist in the area of soft tissue inside the tooth. Endodontists primarily perform root canals and typically only deal with endodontic-related problems.
A common misconception is that a root canal is a painful procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal pain. Common causes for the need of endodontic treatment:
- Inflamed/infected tooth pulp
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements
- Tooth decay
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Blow to the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness near the infected tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
Please contact our office for an evaluation if you experience any of the symptoms above, and we will refer you to an endodontic specialist.