Your teeth are made of several layers. The pulp is the network of blood vessels and nerves that keeps your tooth alive, and is located in a chamber inside your tooth called the root canal. If your tooth is badly damaged, either from decay or from trauma, the pulp of a tooth may become infected. In order to save the tooth and halt the spread of the infection, the damaged and decayed tissue from inside the tooth must be removed and the tooth sealed. This procedure is called endodontic therapy, or more commonly root canal therapy.
Your dentist will numb you before the procedure, and then drill a small hole in the affected tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Damaged and dying pulp tissue will be removed and the empty chambers disinfected. To prevent the infection from reoccurring, the root canals will be filled, usually with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. The access hole will be sealed with a filling. Usually a crown is placed over the tooth to prevent further damage or fracturing.
Many people think of root canal therapy as a painful experience, but in fact it relieves pain. Modern advances in technology and materials speed the process and make it more comfortable. A root canal procedure can be performed in 1-2 hours.
If you have any questions about root canal therapy or think you are a candidate for this procedure and are in the Brookline area, call us today to schedule an appointment.