When dental decay has advanced to the point that an infection has developed in the pulp inside our tooth, a root canal treatment may be necessary. If you’re one of the many dental patients who cringe at the mention of a root canal, don’t worry. The reputation root canals have for being excruciatingly painful procedures has always been undeserved. Dental advancements have made them more effective with minimal discomfort as the years go by. Today’s root canals provide relief from pain while preserving your tooth without the discomfort they’re known for.
Root Canals and Endodontics At a Glance
- “Endo” means inside, and “dontic” means tooth, so endodontics are treatments for your dental interior
- Root canals effectively relieve pain and save your tooth in a gentle and effective procedure
- Can prevent extractions that would otherwise be required without them
Root Canals and Endodontics At Our Clinic
Root canal treatments address infections that have formed in the interior of our tooth. In many cases, these infections will not respond to antibiotics, leaving a root canal as the only remaining option to save the tooth. Infections that go untreated can cause lasting damage to your gums, teeth, and even your jawbone. Understanding how a root canal treatment can help you requires understanding the structure of your teeth.
Teeth are comprised of three separate layers:
- Enamel – The hard outer shell of our tooth and the hardest substance in our body.
- Dentin – A softer, porous inner layer that protects the soft inner pulp.
- Pulp – The gelatinous inner layer of our tooth containing nerves and blood vessels.
Enamel allows our teeth to perform their primary function, as well as protecting the interior layers of the tooth. Dentin is porous and softer, giving the tooth some flexibility as well as providing sensation felt by the pulp. When both these layers have been penetrated and the pulp compromised by decay, an infection can set in. Within the roots of our teeth are narrow canals, the titular root canal of the procedure. These canals can contain infected pulp and must be carefully drilled out and sealed during the procedure to prevent reinfection. Once all the pulp has been extracted, the now vacant interior of the tooth is filled with gutta-percha, a special cement. Once set, the entire tooth will be topped with a permanent crown. This may require returning for a second visit, until which you will be fitted with a temporary crown.
Patients of our clinic know they can count on us when dental concerns arise. Dr. Henry Lam is able to tackle endodontic procedures, including root canal treatments. An infected tooth can be excruciatingly painful and can cause lasting damage to your oral structures if left untreated. Should the infection become severe enough, it can even be life-threatening, as the infection can pass into the bloodstream. Don’t put yourself and your smile at risk. Call us now to schedule your endodontic appointment in Calgary, AB We’re excited to add you to our patient family.