Whose knees do not quake at the thought of a “root canal?” Pain and cost spring to mind. But how many of us even know what a “root canal” really is?
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental treatment for removing infection from inside a tooth. It can also protect the tooth from future infections.
It is carried out in the pulp of the tooth, which is the root canal.
Fast facts about root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is used to remove nerves from the pulp of a tooth.
It is thought to be very painful but is a pain-relieving treatment.
The procedure often referred to as root canal is called endodontic therapy.
Root canal therapy costs vary, but it is a less costly option than having a tooth removed and replaced with a crown or bridge.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment has a false reputation for being painful.
A “root canal” is not a treatment, but part of a tooth. It is the hollow section of a tooth that contains the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells, also known as the pulp.
A tooth consists of a crown and roots. The crown is mainly above the gum, while the roots are below it. The roots attach the tooth to the jawbone.
Inside the crown and the root, or the root canal, is the pulp. The pulp nourishes the tooth and provides moisture to the surrounding material. The nerves in the pulp sense hot and cold temperatures as pain.
The name of the dental procedure commonly referred to as a “root canal” is actually endodontic therapy, which means “inside the tooth.”
However, the term “root canal” has come to be commonly used to talk about the procedure.
Caring for teeth and gums
Prevent tooth decay and you can avoid root canal treatment. Click here for a guide to brushing your teeth correctly.
How painful is it?
One of the great fears about this kind of treatment is that it will be painful, but the treatment that is carried out by a trained dental surgeon should be relatively painless.
The pain that is felt comes from the infection and not from the treatment. The treatment does not cause pain; it helps to alleviate it.