Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that is used to treat infected or damaged teeth. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth and filling it with a special material to prevent further infection, and the pulp of a tooth is the soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected or damaged, it can cause severe pain and sensitivity. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and even to other parts of the body.
The root canal procedure typically involves several steps.
First, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia.
Then they will create an opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Using specialized tools, they will remove all of the infected or damaged pulp from inside the tooth.
Once all of the pulp has been removed, the dentist will clean out any remaining debris and shape the inside of the root canals. They will then fill in these canals with a special material called gutta-percha to prevent further infection.
After filling in all of the root canals, your dentist will place a temporary filling over top of your treated tooth until you return for your permanent crown placement appointment.
After your permanent crown has been placed on your treated tooth you should be able to resume normal activities within 24 hours after your root canal procedure.
Root canal treatment is typically recommended when a tooth has a deep cavity, a cracked or fractured tooth, or has undergone repeated dental procedures. Symptoms that may indicate the need for root canal treatment include severe pain when biting down, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, swelling around the affected tooth, and discoloration of the tooth.