Knowledge is power, and knowledge can also calm our anxiety. We’ve all heard horror stories of root canals, how they hurt, how long they take, and more. A little knowledge about today’s root canal procedures, though, can help ease your worries. If you came in for a routine dental exam and were told you that you need to have a root canal procedure done, we want to help you understand what’s going on in your tooth now and how the root canal treatment works.
What Is a Root Canal?
Let’s start with the anatomy of a tooth. The outer layer of the crown (portion of tooth above gum line) is composed of enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Under that is a softer material called dentin. Finally, inside of the dentin is the vital, living part of your tooth, known as the pulp. The pulp contains a blood supply and a nerve supply. The blood and nerve supplies enter the tooth through a canal in the roots of the tooth, or root canal!
What Is a Root Canal Procedure?
If decay in a tooth is left untreated, it is likely that the decay will make its way into the pulp of the tooth, causing pain and eventual death of the tooth. In a root canal procedure, performed using sedation to keep you as comfortable as possible, our dentist will drill a hole in the crown of the tooth, just as they would for a filling. Then the dentist will clean all of the soft tissue out of the tooth, reaching all the way to the tips of the roots. Then we will fill the cavity with gutta percha, a soft, rubber-like material. Finally, we will fill the hole in the crown of the tooth or recommend fitting you for a crown, depending on the stability of the tooth.
Why Shouldn’t You Be Afraid of a Root Canal?
Today’s dental instruments, materials, and techniques, combined with state-of-the-art sedation dentistry, makes for a relatively quick and painless procedure in the hands of our skilled, caring team. We have performed many root canals and bring a high degree of expertise to the dental chair.