Root Canal Basics

Root canal treatment is one type of endodontic treatment.  It is a therapy focused on the interior of the tooth, and the root words for "endodontics" actually means the inside of the tooth.

To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.

The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

Why would I need  Root Canal Therapy?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess, tooth loss, and systemic infection.

How Dr. Basil can save your teeth with Root Canal Therapy

During the procedure, Dr. Elzbieta Basil will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of the root canal with a series of very fine files, then fill and seal the space.  She performs this at both her West Hartford dental office and her New Britain dental office.  Afterwards, you will return to Dr. Basil, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Does it Hurt?

Most of the time Root Canal procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection.  The area will be sensitive to begin with.  However,  modern techniques and anesthetics have eliminated most of the reputed pain that goes along with Root Canal Therapy.  In fact, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.

For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow Dr. Basil's instructions carefully.

Root Canal Therapy