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Equipment and dental instruments in dentist's office. Dentistry

The field of endodontics and root canals

Treating the dental pulp and the tissues surrounding the roots of a tooth is known as the field of endodontics. Within the field of endodontics is the treatment known as a root canal.
When a tooth becomes infected, the decay affects the nerves or pulp of the tooth. When the infected nerves need to be removed, the procedure is known as the root canal. An untreated infection in the pulp or nerves of a tooth can become an abscess which could lead to more serious dental issues, including bone loss in the jaw.

A root canal procedure begins by numbing the area around the tooth. An opening is then drilled in the top of the tooth, and the infected tissue in the nerve canal is removed, cleaning the canal. The opening in the top of the tooth is filled with a material called gutta percha, which seals the canal. In many cases, the tooth is then fitted with a crown. The crown ensures that the tooth is no longer exposed to further damage.

Although an unpleasant experience for many patients, root canals have become uncomfortable because of advances in technology. Patients experience less pain because of local anesthesia and proper medication. Soreness in the gums and mouth is not unusual following a root canal, but over-the-counter pain medication is usually enough to limit a patient's pain. Your dentist may also prescribe a pain medication depending on the individual.

For more information, call Dentist of Lake Mary at (407) 413-9000.