Root canals are an easier way to say dentistry endodontics treatments. Whatever one calls it, root canals are an effective way to keep teeth from getting pulled. Here is more information from the American Association of Endodontists about how root canals are performed.

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Who Can Perform Root Canals

Although most general dentists can perform root canals, specialists called endodontists may be needed. Endodontists are dentists that just work with treating tooth pulp.

Numbing the Tooth

A root canal cleans out infected pulp. The pulp contains nerves, giving the pain associated with infected teeth. The tooth is numbed with an injection of Novocain. Sometimes caffeine is added to the Novocain to speed recovery, but generally, numbness lasts hours after the procedure.

Tools Used

X-rays or digital imaging are used to locate the infection. After numbing sets in, a shield is placed over the mouth with a small opening, so the endodontist can get to the tooth. A drill opens the tooth up. The infected pulp is removed. Once gone, the canal is given a disinfectant rinse. Incredibly thin tools clean out any remaining infected pulp and shape the canal. A temporary filling is then put in to replace the pulp. Dentists apply permanent fillings or crowns weeks later.

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