Woman in pain needing a root canal treatment from her family dentist in Idaho Falls, Dr. Michael Elison.

Root Canal Treatment

Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment.

To understand a root canal procedure, it helps to know 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 helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. 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, faulty crowns, or a crack.

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.  Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection.  After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Contrary to jokes about the matter, modern root canal treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during and after your appointment.

A week after the root canal is completed Dr. Elison will remove the temporary filling and place what is called a “permanent filling.” This filling is the same as any other filling, and is needed to fill the small hole made by the root canal, back in with material. Most times a crown is recommended after root canal treatment has been completed. This is to make sure the tooth is 100% protected and strong.

At Elison Dental Center, we want to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.  This may mean that at times Dr. Elison will recommend that our patients see an endodontist for root canal treatment. An endodontist is a specialist who only does root canal treatment each and every day.

Source:  www.aae.org