Endodontics is the field of dentistry related to the nerve of the tooth or “pulp.” A root canal procedure involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp from a tooth, cleaning the canal or channel in the tooth root, and then filling and sealing the space, thus saving the tooth from extraction. A crown or other restoration then protects the tooth and restores it to normal function.

Deep decay, severe gum disease, and trauma (such as a physical blow to the tooth), can cause damage to the pulp. This damage can lead to painful swelling, damage to the jaw bone or muscles, and the formation of abscesses. If left untreated, this could lead to tooth loss. The goal of endodontic treatment is to stop any pain, swelling, or discoloration and save the infected tooth.

There are many preconceived ideas about root canals. Here are some of the main concerns and questions surrounding this procedure:

1. Is getting a root canal painful?
No, having a root canal performed actually relieves the pain.

2. Can having a root canal procedure cause illness?
A root canal is a safe and effective procedure.

3. Wouldn’t it be better to just pull the tooth?
It is always best to try and save your natural teeth.