Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed- this process is called a root canal.
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. A tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also protect the root canal and allow the patient to eat like they would with a natural tooth.
"Root canal" has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less frightening. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.
If you are experiencing pain consult your dentist today.