Root Canal Treatment
Root canal, or endodontic, treatment may be necessary when the pulp tissue inside the root canals of a tooth becomes infected or damaged, which can be caused by dental trauma or decay. The pulp, which is located inside the root canals, contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. A tooth generally has between one and four root canals. A root canal procedure may be performed on a single root canal or multiple root canals within a tooth.
During this procedure, the crown of the tooth is opened, allowing the doctor to access the root canal. The pulp tissue in the infected root canal is removed and the canals cleaned. A series of files is used to remove any remaining tissue, slightly enlarge the canals, and smooth the walls of the canals. Once any infection has completely cleared up, which could take a few days or longer, the root canals are sealed with a material called gutta percha or with root canal sealer to prevent bacteria or debris from entering the root canals and causing further infection. Finally, the crown of the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown.