Endodontics in Longmeadow, MA
The anatomy of a tooth is complex.
On the outside is the enamel, the part you (and others) see. This enamel is the hardest substance in the human body; however, it can be worn away over time by pressure or acids. Beneath the enamel is a layer called the dentin. Dentin has a more yellowish shade to it and, unlike the enamel, is porous. Inside the tooth, beneath the dentin, is the pulp. The pulp is soft and contains the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth.
Each tooth is held in place by its roots. Running through the roots are thin channels through which the nerves and blood vessels connect with the rest of your vascular and nervous systems.
Usually, the pulp and the delicate structures it contains are protected by the outer layers. But if the enamel and dentin sustain damage from either decay or trauma, bacteria can make their way into the pulp and cause infection. This infection is often quite painful and requires treatment to save the tooth.
Endodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on the pulp of the tooth. The most common treatment in endodontics is root canal therapy—often simply referred to as having a root canal.
Comfortable, Successful Root Canals
As you probably know, the root canal suffers from a poor reputation. We want you to know, however, that modern root canals, performed with updated techniques and instruments, are simple, predictable, and have a high success rate. We use anesthetic to make sure that you don’t feel a thing during your treatment.
Part of the reason behind the common fear of root canals is the pain of the infection that indicates that the treatment is needed. If you are experiencing pain in a tooth, extreme sensitivity to temperature change or pressure, or you have a lesion that looks like a pimple on your gum tissue, call our office right away. We will get you in for an emergency treatment right away so that we can diagnose the problem and relieve your pain quickly.
How Is a Root Canal Performed?
To treat infected pulp, we have to be able to reach it. Using special instruments, we create a small access hole and then use other instruments, designed specifically for this job, to clean out the infection. Because the infection damages the nerve (this is what causes the pain), we remove the nerve as well.
Once the inside of the tooth is free from infection, we fill it with an inert material and close the tooth with a filling. We may also recommend a crown since root canal therapy can leave a tooth brittle.
It can take a day or two for your immune system to realize that the infection is gone, so there may be some residual discomfort and inflammation once the anesthetic wears off. Your dentist will discuss this with you and recommend ways to relieve any discomfort. Soon, however, you will feel much better and your tooth will be restored to full function.
Call Us if You Are in Pain
If you are experiencing pain, this is a sign that something is wrong. Please call us right away so that we can provide the care you need.