There's a patient with severe pain in the waiting room, Doctor.
Take an X-ray and ask him to sit down in treatment room number two.
Good morning, I'm Doctor Smith.
My assistant said that you're having trouble with one of your teeth. How long have you been uncomfortable?
It's been hurting for three days and seems to be getting worse.
It aches constantly and any pressure on it is very painful.
I've examined your X-rays.
There's decay under a large filling. The decay is into the pulp of the tooth.
What is the pulp of the tooth, Doctor?
The pulp of the tooth is made up of nerves and blood vessels.
The pulp is commonly called "the nerve".
The pulp is located in a hollow canal in the center of the tooth. .
The hollow canal is called the pulp canal or pulp chamber.
I'll do a pulp test on that tooth.
I want to find out whether the pulp is healthy.
This instrument will stimulate the nerve of the tooth very slightly.
Tell me if you feel a little bit of discomfort and I'll stop
I don't feel anything, Doctor.
The pulp didn't respond to the pulp test the way it should.
The reason that you don't feel anything is because the pulp is dead (necrotic).
The pulp canal is infected.
Now what do you do, Doctor?
The only way that the tooth can be saved is by endodontic treatment.
Endodontic treatment is commonly known as "root canal treatment".
What's that, Doctor? I'm not familiar with those terms or that type of treatment.
Let me tell you how it'll be done.
First, I'll make a small opening in the top (crown) of the tooth to expose the infected pulp. .
Can you see this dark colored line on the X-ray?
That's the hollow pulp canal (chamber).
The area around the end of the root is also infected
Oh, yes, I see.
The opening in that tooth will allow the infection to drain and enable me to enlarge, clean, and smoothen the pulp canal.