Endodontics is the practice of root canals. A root canal is the removal of the blood and nerve tissue from inside a tooth/roots. This procedure is done when decay/crack gets into the nerve, an abscess is present, or when the nerve dies due to trauma to a tooth. Other reasons for root canals exist but are much less prevelent. The procedure allows for the tooth to be retained because the alternative in cases where the nerve is infected/dead is extraction.
Having removed the nerve and blood supply during a root canal, the tooth has lost it nourishment and becomes more brittle and susceptible to fracture. Therefore, we always recommend that root canal teeth have crowns placed in the not so distant future.
Many people hear "horror" stories about root canals. A lot of these stories arise from treatment that was done many years ago. The anesthetics and the treatment techniques are much improved and more efficient today; therefore, the procedure is much more tolerable today than it was in the past. It is our primary goal to completely anesthetize the tooth prior to beginning treatment.
What are the benefits of having a root canal?
You are able to keep your tooth
It eliminates infection that could only otherwise be taken care of by an extraction
It is an improved procedure that is not as bad as it was in the past