ENDODONTICS (Root Canals)
The phrase “root canal” is one of the more dreaded terms in dentistry, but this is a bit unjustified. The techniques and materials of performing a root canal have progressed so much in recent years. The procedure itself is really quite easy and painless. A root canal procedure is the process of removing the nerves and vessels from the “pulp” of the tooth, cleaning out any bacteria or infectious substance, and replacing it with a stable, permanent filler material. This process is most commonly necessary when tooth decay extends to the pulp of the tooth (bringing infectious bacteria with it), if a tooth is broken and pulp is exposed to the bacteria of the world, or if a tooth has been knocked out completely and has been re-implanted. Once the root canal procedure has been performed and the source of infection has been removed from the body, the tooth should stabilize and can then be restored like any other tooth, thus preventing the need for extraction.