Occasionally, a tooth nerve chamber will become infected, acquiring a root canal to save the tooth. This treatment cleans the infected nerve chamber and repairs the damage, saving your natural tooth. Our offices utilize a procedure that is both comfortable and completed in less time than previous methods.

Endodontic Procedures

The word endodontic comes from the Greek word enomeaning "within" and the Greek word odous meaning "tooth". Endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal (therapy), is a treatment of the tooth aimed at clearing infection, as well as protecting the tooth from subsequent infections. The treatment is carried out in the pulp of the tooth. 

The term "root canal" when meaning endodontic therapy is, in fact, wrong. Root canals are part of a tooth, the hollows within a tooth where the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and some other cells are located. Root canal is a place in a tooth, while endodontic therapy is a dental procedure. However, the term "root canal" has become widely used with the meaning of endodontic therapy. 

Endodontic therapy involves the complete removal of everything that lies in the root canal. The hollow area is then cleaned, shaped and decontaminated. Miniscule files and irrigation solutions are used. An inert filling, such as gutta percha, fills up the hollow, along with a eugenol-based cement. 

After endodontic therapy the tooth is dead. The patient will no longer feel any pain on that tooth because the nerve tissue has been taken out and the infection has been eliminated. 

Patients are frequently fearful of undergoing endodontic therapy. This fear is unwarranted as the procedure, when carried out by a trained dental surgeon, is relatively painless.

When the dental pulp (or root canal area) is diseased or injured

If the pulp cannot repair itself (when it is injured or diseased) it dies. Pulp death can occur as a result of a deep cavity or a cracked tooth. Bacteria get in, either through a crack, a cavity or a loose filling, and eventually destroy the pulp. When bacteria penetrate through the root openings the bone will become infected. An infection in the bone will eventually weaken it and break it down, the ligaments around the tooth will swell and the tooth will become loose. 

The patient with a pulp (root canal) injury will find his tooth is very sensitive to high and low temperatures, he may feel pain when chewing, and there may be a continuous throbbing pain.

Endodontic therapy (root canal therapy) saves the tooth and prevents further infection and pain

Without treatment the infection will spread and the tooth will eventually loosen and fall out. Some patients may prefer to have the tooth pulled out, especially if it hurts a lot. However, extracting a tooth may cause the surrounding teeth to become crooked. If your teeth are crooked you cannot usually manage a good bite. Endodontic therapy will usually stop the tooth from falling out and eliminate the pain. 

For more information regarding endodontics please go to http://www.aae.org/ 

The tooth has two basic parts

There are two basic parts to a tooth, the crown and the roots. The crown is mainly above your gum, while the roots are below the gum and attach your tooth to your jawbone. Pulp, which exists inside the crown and the root, is made of soft tissue and keeps your tooth nourished. 

Enamel - the outer layer of the crown is called the enamel. Enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in our body - 96% of a tooth's enamel consists of mineral, the rest is made of organic matter and water. 

Dentin - is yellow in appearance. The color of our teeth is influenced by the color of our dentin, as the enamel is translucent. Dentin is necessary for the support of the enamel - it is less brittle and less mineralized than the enamel. 70% of dentin is hydroxylapatite (a mineral), 20% is organic matter, and 10% is water. 

Dental pulp - is in the center of the tooth. Part of the tooth is inside the crown, and part of it is inside the root, in the root canal. The pulp consists of soft tissue and ondoplasts (type of cells). The dental pulp produces dentin, supplies surrounding mineralized tissue with moisture and nutrients, and senses extremes of temperature and pressure as pain. The pulp has a network of nerves and blood vessels.