What is endodontics? A guide to root canal therapy in London, ON to save your tooth and relieve pain

For some time now, the “root canal” has inspired fear. The reality is this treatment has brought relief to generations of patients suffering from severe pain caused by deep decay or trauma to their teeth. Before this treatment was introduced, the badly damaged tooth had to be extracted. Now, you can preserve your tooth with this much-maligned procedure.

The basics 

Root canal therapy falls under the category of “endodontics.” These procedures are all designed to treat conditions that affect the insides of the teeth. Dr. Ashish Papneja, an Acadamy of General Dentistry Fellowship-trained dentist and Dr. Marjan Moaveni of Hyde Park Dentistry in London, ON, are well-versed in this nonsurgical endodontic procedure. 

This treatment is like a “deep clean” for your tooth, which involves removing damaged internal tissue and cleaning and shaping the innermost parts of the teeth. By eradicating the bacteria and infection, we can preserve the natural tooth and avoid extracting and replacing it. Tooth replacement is generally more expensive, invasive, and time-consuming than procedures preserving the tooth and restoring its health, structure, and appearance. 

When it’s needed 

What many refer to as “root canal” is actually “root canal therapy,” as the root canal is a part of the tooth. The root canal system is the space inside the hard tissues. Covered by the softer dentin and protective enamel, this system contains soft, gel-like dental pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that nourish your tooth’s growth and development. After the tooth has fully matured, the pulp is not necessary.

Bacteria is a significant threat to the root canal system. As bacteria mix with sugars and starches from foods and drinks, they produce acids that wear away at the tooth. Without proper treatment, germs can march their way toward the centre of the tooth. Harmful bacteria enter the pulp through cavities, fractures, or worn restorations. Infected pulp may produce an “abscess,” which can spread to other parts of the face and body. Systemic infections are a medical emergency. At Hyde Park Dentistry, we work closely with our patients on care and services to prevent this process from occurring. However, if severe damage to the tooth is already present, we may recommend root canal treatment to relieve painful pressure and restore the tooth to health immediately. 

What to expect 

The process itself provides instant pain relief. However, you won’t feel the sensation of dental instruments during treatment as we apply numbing medication precisely to the treatment site. So, therapy is remarkably well-tolerated. To gain access to the inside of the tooth, we’ll create a small opening. Diseased tissue is removed. The inner chamber of the tooth is sterilized, and the root canals are shaped. Then, the treated area is sealed off with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. 

Depending on your needs, root canal treatment can be completed in one to three appointments. Typically, the finishing touch is a crown to restore the damaged tooth’s appearance and provide lasting structure and function. Treated teeth should be cared for like natural teeth, and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. 

To find out more about this safe, painless, well-established, and tooth-preserving procedure, schedule an appointment at our officeHyde Park Dentistry in London, Ontario. Contact us today at 226-271-2522.