Your tooth consists of two main parts: the crown, which is the part of the tooth above the gum and visible in your mouth, and the root or roots, which is that part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a channel that runs the length of the tooth. This channel is the root canal and contains the pulp (nerves, blood vessels and soft tissue), which is often referred to as the "nerve" of the tooth.
The pulp may be irreversibly damaged by bacteria associated with decay, very deep restorations, fractures, trauma, or periodontal disease. In order to preserve a tooth in which this has occurred, it is necessary to remove the diseased pulp tissue. This procedure is known as endodontic therapy. Since endodontic therapy is concerned with removing only the pulp from the root canal, the root will continue to function normally because the supporting tissues remain intact. It is advisable to remove the injured pulp because it may become infected or act as an irritant to the tissues surrounding the tooth.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, it is important for you to contact your general dentist for a follow-up restoration. This should be done within several weeks of your final visit with our office. Your dentist can best decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.
Patient comfort is our primary concern. All procedures are performed utilizing local anesthesia with nitrous oxide sedation available. Surgical patients are able to drive home and return to work the following day. Post-operative complications are rare, however, a doctor is on call at all times should a problem arise.