Root canal treatment is one of the most feared solutions in dentistry. Ironically, it can relieve patients of extreme pain and discomfort. Instead of looking at root canal treatment as a painful procedure—which it is not—patients are encouraged to learn more about it to understand that it is a helpful procedure done to eliminate pain and discomfort—not cause it.

Dr. Andrew Spath of Newport Beach provides his patients with a solution to areas of decay and infection. When a natural tooth has been infected, it can cause the inner portion of the tooth, called the dental pulp, to become infected as well. The dental pulp is the area of tissue within the tooth that also contains the nerves and blood supply. When infected, this can result in extreme pain within the tooth. Dr. Andrew Spath, DDS will suggest root canal treatment to address this.

Root canal treatment starts with a diagnosis. Knowing the problem at hand can help in determining the best way to handle the problem. Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, may be necessary when there has been decay, infection, trauma, or an abscess that has occurred on or around the tooth. X-rays will confirm the need for root canal treatment and patients can receive anesthetics to begin the procedure.

Local anesthetics may be used as well as sedation, depending on the needs of the patient. Once there is no feeling in the treatment area, Dr. Andrew Spath starts by drilling a hole into the tooth to access the inner pulp. It is removed with specialized instruments, then the inside of the canals are disinfected to ensure it is clean and ready for the placement of gutta percha. Gutta percha is a special rubber material used to fill the canals after endodontic therapy. The tooth is then sealed off, and a dental crown is sometimes made to place over it for extra protection. This is often done for molars, which take on a lot of pressure during chewing. Root canal therapy can weaken the structure of the tooth, which is why it may be necessary to restore it with a dental crown.