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The root canal is perhaps the most infamous treatment that people associate with dentistry. Have you ever wondered why this procedure has gained so much notoriety? It’s human nature to fear what we don’t understand, so here’s a little background on root canals to help you learn more about the treatment and to quell any anxieties that you might have.

The first thing you should know is that a root canal is a relatively simple procedure that involves little to no discomfort, and it only requires between one to three visits to the office. A root canal is one type of endodontic treatment. Endodontics is the branch of dentistry whose focus is the inside of the tooth. “Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.”

When people think of the words “root canal,” they automatically equate it with pain. In reality, the association with pain comes from an infection in the tooth, not the root canal treatment itself. The root canal procedure is actually painless, and it’s prescribed to eliminate the patient’s tooth pain that comes from the infection.

Don’t worry: With modern techniques in anesthetics, most patients admit that they are surprisingly comfortable during a root canal procedure.

Here’s how a root canal procedure works:

We X-ray the tooth in question. Next we administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. Once the tooth is numb, a protective sheet called a dental dam is used to isolate the tooth in order to keep it clean and free from saliva.

Next your dentist will make an opening in the crown of the tooth. Small instruments are used to remove any decay and the pulp from within the pulp chamber and root canals. This clears and shapes the space for the filling.

Then your dentist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material that is secured with an adhesive cement to seal off the root canals of the tooth. At this point, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening of tooth. The temporary filling is later removed once the crown is placed on the tooth to restore it to its full function once again.

If you need root canal treatment, please don’t be afraid. We understand that some dental procedures may seem scary, but Dr. Nouhad and his compassionate team will take good care of you.