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403 W. Nye Lane, Ste A Carson City, NV 89706 | Get Directions
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Tuesdays with the Team


What is a Root Canal and why was I referred to another doctor?

To understand a root canal, it helps to know about the anatomy of teeth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development.

A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp because it continues to be nourished by the tissue surrounding it. Endodontic treatment (root canal) treats the inside of the tooth when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns, or a fracture of the tooth. Left untreated, the infection can cause pain or an abscess.

During the root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed inside of the tooth and is cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled with a rubber-like material and the the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. All dentists receive training in endodontics in dental school. However, they often refer to a specialist because they believe it is in the patient’s best interest due to the difficulty of the treatment.

An endodontist has special training in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth. To become a specialist, they must complete dental school and have an additional two years or more of advanced training in endodontics. As they only do root canals in their practice, you will be referred back to your general dentist for the final restoration.

At Advanced Dentistry by Design, your comfort and care are of highest priority for your Carson City dentists and we will always do what is in your best interest, whether it is treatment in our office or referring you to a specialist. Call us today at (775) 400-2533 – we look forward to smiling at you!

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