Repair a damaged or infected tooth
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure that is performed to repair a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels) and cleaning and sealing the root system.
During a root canal treatment, the dentist will start by numbing the affected tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. Then, they will create an opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Using small dental instruments, they will remove the infected or damaged pulp and shape the inside of the root canals.
After cleaning and shaping the canals, the dentist will fill them with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and seal the opening in the tooth with a filling or a crown. This helps to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth causing further infection.
Root canal therapy is often necessary when a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or traumatized. If left untreated, an infected tooth can lead to pain, swelling, and the formation of an abscess. Root canal treatment can save the tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.