Root Canal Therapy:
Root Canal therapy really is not that bad!
Nothing is as good as a natural tooth! Sometimes your
natural tooth may need root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth.
Most patients report that
having root canal (endodontic) treatment today is as unremarkable as having a cavity filled.
If you've been told you need root canal
(endodontic) treatment, you can find the answers to your questions below.
Who performs endodontic treatment?
All dentists, including
your general dentist, receive basic training in endodontic treatment in dental school. General dentists often refer patients needing
endodontic treatment to endodontists.
Who is an "endodontist?"
An endodontist is a dentist with special training in diagnosing
and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth. They do only endodontic procedures in their practices because
they are specialists. To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training
in endodontics, one of the nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. They perform routine as well as difficult
and very complex endodontic procedures, including retreatment of previous root canals that have not healed completely, as well as
endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
is endodontic treatment?
“Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment treats
the inside of the tooth.
To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the
tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels,
nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
The pulp extends from the crown
of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s
growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished
by the tissues surrounding it.
Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the
soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep
decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp
damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or
lead to an abscess.