Dr. Sue Hollinsworth

What is a root canal?

A root canal, or endodontics, is a procedure to treat the diseased nerve within a tooth. Not all that many years ago, if you had a tooth with a dying or dead nerve, an abscessed tooth, you would probably lose that tooth. Today with root canal therapy, the nerve can be removed and the tooth can be saved. Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients(blood supply) and nerves from the bone into the tooth. It runs like a thread inside a hollow canal in the roots of the tooth.When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. Root canal therapy  removes that infected or inflamed tissue from the canal, cleans out the inside of the tooth, then seals the the canals with a material. Because the tooth is no longer receiving nutrients, it becomes more brittle so omost often a crown must be placed to help support the tooth. Endodontists, dental root canal specialists, use microscopes and focused cat scan machines to find all the intricacies of the canals to easily and quickly treat the tooth, often with no discomfort. Discomfort usually comes from waiting too long and letting the tooth abscess or get infected, resulting in swelling and pain.