What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a type of dentistry that refers to saving teeth and dealing with tooth pain.
It also includes the diagnoses of tooth pain and procedures to the interior of damaged or diseased teeth to save them from further decay or extraction. Endodontists are often called specialists at saving teeth; they complete additional training beyond dental school. Although not an endodontist, Dr. Urquiaga performs root canals, an endodontic procedure, for his patients.
What is a root canal?
Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with the help of root canal procedures. Inside your tooth, under the white enamel and the hard layer (dentin), is soft tissue that’s called the pulp. It is composed of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp helps promote growth in the root of your tooth during development. If your tooth is fully developed, it doesn’t need the pulp to survive. Your tooth can get the nutrients it needs from surrounding tissue.
If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, root canal treatment might be necessary. The inflammation or infection is caused by a variety of factors:
- Tooth decay
- Multiple procedures done on the same tooth
- Faulty crowns
- A crack or chip to the tooth
- Trauma to the tooth (even if there’s no chip or crack)
A root canal treatment helps to save your tooth from complications that could arise and spread from inflamed or infected pulp.
How does it work?
If pulp inflammation or infection goes untreated, it can cause tooth pain or even lead to an abscess. During root canal treatment, Dr. Urquiaga removes the infected pulp and carefully cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth. He then fills the tooth with rubber-like material and seals it. After that, he places a crown or filling on the tooth for protection. The tooth then functions like any other tooth.
Root canal treatment helps save your natural teeth and has many other advantages, such as:
- Helps with efficient chewing
- Boosts your biting force
- Maintains a natural appearance
- Protects your surrounding teeth from wear and strain
Is a root canal painful?
The infection of the pulp inside the tooth causes pain. The root canal treatment itself is done to relieve pain. Dr. Urquiaga uses a local anesthetic that numbs the tooth and surrounding area for your comfort during treatment, which makes the procedure itself virtually painless.