Endodontics is a specialty-field within dentistry that is focused on relieving severe dental pain and saving even the most damaged teeth from extraction. To do so, certified endodontists like our own Dr. Mark Barr offer safe, effective, and virtually painless root canals.
If you have a problem tooth that has been causing you pain for far too long, Dr. Barr can use his expertise to make it quickly disappear, often in just one appointment.
Despite its somewhat dubious reputation, a root canal is actually one of the best tools in all of dentistry used to eliminate dental pain, not cause it! Of course the question is, “Why would someone need a root canal in the first place?”
The teeth are actually composed of three distinct layers: the enamel on the outside, followed by the dentin, and housed inside of both is a bit of soft tissue called the dental pulp. This pulp contains various blood vessels and connective tissues, but most importantly, it includes the delicate nerve of a tooth. Should this nerve become exposed to bacteria because of dental decay or an accident, it can become inflamed and very painful, causing the mother of all toothaches.
This is where a root canal can help. In the past, teeth with this kind of damage would usually be considered a lost cause and be extracted, but Dr. Barr can help protect a patient’s natural smile with this relatively simple procedure.
To perform a root canal, he starts by numbing a patient’s mouth, and then he creates a small hole in the tooth to access the pulp. He removes this tissue, sanitizes the tooth, fills it with a material called gutta percha, and then places a temporary filling.
To make this procedure as effective, comfortable, and efficient as possible, Dr. Barr uses patented GentleWave technology, which is proven to remove more infected tissue while better preserving natural tooth structure compared to traditional root canal methods. You can learn more about how it works on our technology page.
After a tooth has been treated with a root canal, it can sometimes become painful or infected again months or even years afterward because it has not healed properly. This can occur because the tooth has developed new decay, it has experienced some kind of trauma, or perhaps the original infection wasn’t completely eliminated during the initial treatment.
In any case, this situation calls for a procedure known as an endodontic retreatment, which is actually very similar to the root canal we outlined above. Dr. Barr will simply open the tooth back up, clear out any remaining tissue or infection, clean it, and then place a new filling material to provide stability.
As part of an endodontic care regimen, Dr. Barr may prescribe a patient to take antibiotics in order to protect against reinfection. If asked to do so, make sure you take the medicine as instructed, and be sure to let Dr. Barr know if you have any allergies or are taking other medications.