What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving diagnosis and treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion is hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The endodontist examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.
Root Canal Treatment
At the center of your tooth is pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if requested (there is an additional fee for nitrous). You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. It is very important to contact your general dentist immediately after the root canal visit and schedule an appointment to get the crown made. If you do not get the crown done, the tooth may fracture and you may risk re-infection of the canals.