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How does endodontic treatment work?

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

The endodontist treats the tooth by removing the diseased pulp within the root canal, meticulously cleaning and shaping the inside of the tooth, disinfecting and drying the space that is left, and then filling and sealing the space with a biocompatible material. Your family dentist will then restore the tooth with a crown or other restoration soon after the treatment to protect the tooth. The tooth will function like any other tooth and will need the same daily and professional care as any other tooth.

Is this a painful procedure?

Endodontic procedures are often performed to relieve patients of pain experienced from an inflamed or infected tooth. With advanced training in modern techniques in local anesthesia, endodontists can perform these procedures comfortably and efficiently. Following treatment it is advisable to continue to take an over-the-counter pain medication for a day or two as there may be some mild soreness experienced. There is rarely a need for prescription medications.

What other choices do I have if I need this treatment?

When the tooth pulp is diseased, the only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge or partial denture to maintain the integrity of the bite and prevent shifting of the teeth. This requires surgery and further dental procedures which may involve adjacent teeth. These procedures may be far more costly and time-consuming than the endodontic treatment.