What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is performed to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or has become infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
- Spontaneous pain or throbbing while biting.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
- Severe decay or an injury that creates an abscess (infection) in the bone.
Infected/Inflamed Pulp Tissue
Technically “root canal” is not the name of the procedure but refers instead simply to the natural cavity found in the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area inside the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal. Occasionally, the internal soft tissue (or pulp) of the tooth becomes infected and can result in a serious infection if left untreated.
In fact, the procedure that laymen refer to as a “root canal” is actually known as a pulpectomy to dentists. A pulpectomy is an endodontic treatment to cure an infected root canal. In the old days, damage to the core of a tooth usually meant it had to be removed. Today, however, a “root canal” procedure (or pulpectomy) disinfects and refills the inside of the tooth, thus preventing pain and limiting damage to the tooth.
The Root Canal Treatment Procedure
The tooth is first anesthetized then a hole is made down into the pulp. Dr. John Raffel uses tiny instruments to extract the remaining pulp from the tooth, thoroughly disinfecting the tooth canal in the process. Once disinfected, the interior of the tooth is filled with an inert material that helps prevent further infection.
Dr. John Raffel is trained to perform endodontic treatment. For difficult root canals you may be referred to a root canal specialist.
Contact us today to set up an appointment for a root canal treatment with Dr. Raffel.