Root canals may be the most infamous dental treatment. When people think of the words “root canal,” they automatically equate it with pain. In reality, the association with pain comes from an infection in the tooth, not the root canal treatment itself. The root canal procedure is actually painless, and it’s prescribed to eliminate the patient’s tooth pain that comes from the infection.
Though the analogy isn’t precisely parallel, it’s similar to the relationship between a broken bone and a cast: It’s the broken bone that causes the pain; the cast simply helps to repair the broken bone. Rest assured, with modern techniques in anesthetics, most patients admit that they are surprisingly comfortable during a root canal procedure.
A root canal is one type of endodontic treatment. Endodontics is the branch of dentistry whose focus is the inside of the tooth.
We X-ray the tooth in question. Next we administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. Once the tooth is numb, a protective sheet called a dental dam is used to isolate the tooth in order to keep it clean and free from saliva.
Next your dentist will make an opening in the crown of the tooth. Small instruments are used to remove any decay and the pulp from within the pulp chamber and root canals. This clears and shapes the space for the filling.
Then your dentist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material that is secured with an adhesive cement to seal off the root canals of the tooth. At this point, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening of tooth. The temporary filling is later removed once the crown is placed on the tooth to restore it to its full function once again.
If you need root canal treatment, don’t be afraid. We understand that some dental procedures may seem scary, but our excellent team here at Dr. Fernandez’s office will take good care of you.