The term endodontics was coined from the Greek roots “endo-” which means “inside” and “odont-” which means “tooth”. It is the dental specialty that is focused on the study and treatment of the dental pulp. When the dental pulp becomes injured or damaged, an endodontic treatment may be required to save the tooth. Dr. Kacos has advanced training in endodontics that allows him to do root canals that many other dentists do not treat like molars or teeth that already have crowns or bridges on them.
The root canal is the hollow part within the root of a tooth where the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues are located, similar to a pencil lead running through the center of a pencil. It provides blood, feeling and sensation to your teeth.
Root canal therapy involves drilling out the tooth decay from the crown of the tooth down through the dentin. The infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth as well as the root. The canal is cleaned and disinfected and then filled with gutta-percha (a process called obturation). If the tooth needs a little bit of extra support, a post may be placed in the emptied root, and the filling material packed in around it. The crown is then either repaired or replaced with a porcelain crown.
The purpose of root canal therapy is to keep the natural tooth rather than extracting it. However, patients must still be aware that sometimes a tooth can’t be salvaged via root canal therapy due to the extent of decay or fracturing, and may still need to be extracted.
A root canal is necessary when bacteria, fungi, or viruses infect the dental pulp that runs through the root canal system. If a root canal is not done to remove the infected tissue, the infection will spread and could result in abscesses (a painful pus-filled blister), extraction, infected bone or even septicemia that can affect the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Just because there’s no pain doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. The root canal infection process is progressive. It may start out as a small cavity or after filling placement where some infection was left behind after cleaning. The effect of the infection is cumulative and progressive. Your brain doesn’t even register that there is an infection until it’s progressed to a more advanced stage.
This is why regular checkups with Dr. Ben is important.
It is common for root canals to be used as the punch line of a joke usually to demonstrate how painful or tortuous the procedure is. Actually, with a properly skilled and trained dentist like Dr. Ben using modern anesthetics and techniques, root canals are virtually pain free.
With the implications of leaving an infected tooth root untreated and the virtually pain-free treatment option now available, don’t put off dental evaluation and treatment any longer. Call Dr. Ben today at (318) 869-2593 to book your assessment and root canal appointment.