922 Waltham St #202 Lexington, MA 02421

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922 Waltham St #202 Lexington, MA 02421

922 Waltham St #202 Lexington, MA 02421

Endodontics: What Is a Root Canal?

endodontics |woman with dental pain


Endodontics is a dental specialty dealing with the soft dental pulp found within the inner core of a tooth. Sometimes, this dental pulp can become inflamed or infected, requiring a root canal procedure. Learn more below and contact us today!

Root Canal Procedure: Fast Facts

  • Prevents the loss of the affected tooth
  • Removes the inflamed or infected dental pulp
  • Saves the treated tooth 

What is a root canal or Endodontics?

Under the hard layers of your teeth, known as enamel and dentin, the soft dental pulp is found. Containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, this dental pulp is needed so that a tooth can grow and develop.

Root canal procedures are recommended when the dental pulp is inflamed or infected. This saves the treated tooth.

Root canal therapy is an appropriate treatment for those with significant inflammation or dental pulp infection. Left untreated, this infection can continue to progress, leading to significant pain or a dental abscess, damaging the function and strength of the tooth.

Root canal therapy ensures that the function of the tooth is maintained so that you can continue chewing normally with your usual biting force. It also ensures that the appearance of the tooth is maintained.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

Before undergoing a root canal procedure, endodontics, your dentist will want to examine your tooth. This normally involves a physical examination and x-rays to visualize within the pulp chamber.

Your dentist would numb the tooth using a local anesthetic so that you are completely comfortable throughout the procedure. They will isolate the tooth with a “dental dam,” which is a protective sheet that keeps out saliva and other substances while the procedure is underway.

Next, your dentist will drill down into the tooth to allow access for specialized dental instruments. They will clean out the inflamed or infected dental pulp and reshape the area to make room for a filling, which will be replacing your dental pulp.

Your dentist would then fill the root canals using a material like gutta-percha, which is biocompatible. This fills the area and prevents future infections. Finally, your dentist will place a temporary filling to protect and seal the area. Once your permanent dental crown is ready, you would return for a subsequent appointment to have it placed. The purpose of the crown is to provide additional strength and support for the treated tooth, which will be somewhat weaker after the root canal procedure.

Is a root canal procedure painful?

In spite of popular myths about root canal therapy, endodontics, this procedure is not at all painful.

Learn More

We highly recommend preventing a root canal treatment by maintaining proper dental care. Brush and floss as recommended. Also, maintain your dental visits. Contact our dental team today! New patients are welcome. See you soon!


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