Root Canals | Endodontics

What is Endodontics? You are probably visiting this page because you feel you may need an endodontic treatment, or a "root canal". By choosing endodontic treatment, you are choosing to keep your natural teeth as a healthy foundation for chewing and biting for years to come. What is an Endodontic Treatment? "Endo" is the Greek word for "inside" and "odont" is Greek for "tooth." Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth's growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. Why Do I Need This Procedure? Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no obvious or noticeable symptoms to let you know there is a problem. Only regular dental visits and digital x-rays as well as the expert eye of the dentist can reveal the underlying trauma. How does this procedure save my tooth? Dr. Hubbell first removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. Will I feel pain during or after the procedure? Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow Dr. Hubbell's instructions carefully. Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatments is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call our office! The Endodontic/Root Canal Procedure Dr. Hubbell first removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
  1. Then Dr. Hubbell examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, then Dr. Hubbell places a small protective sheet called a "dental dam" over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  2. Then Dr. Hubbell makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  3. After the space is cleaned and shaped, then Dr. Hubbell fills the root canals with a bio-compatible material, usually a rubber-like material called "gutta-percha." The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
  4. After the final visit with your Dr. Hubbell, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
  5. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, Dr. Hubbell may place a post inside the tooth. Ask us for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.

We invite you to call us at (972) 624-0068 to book your appointment!