Root Canal Therapy – Endodontics

What is a root canal?

A root canal is performed to remove infected, often painful, nerve tissue from the inside of the tooth and roots. A filling material is placed into the areas where the nerve was to seal out any future bacteria and infection. The procedure allows the natural tooth to be retained and infection to be treated.

Why do I need a root canal?

Drilling, filling, cracks and trauma can all cause the nerve of a tooth to become infected, dead and painful. When a tooth can be restored, the root canal allows us to treat the infection, retain the tooth and restore it to comfort and function.

How is root canal done?

The tooth needing the root canal is profoundly anesthetized. A small hole is made in the appropriate area to allow removal of all infected nerve tissue from the tooth and roots. With specialized drills, the inside of the roots (where the nerve tissue was) are cleaned and shaped to accept the root canal filling material. The material, gutta percha, is fitted and sealed into the root to prevent the invasion of bacteria and hence infection in the future. The result is a tooth that can now be restored, works just like any other tooth but no longer can feel hot or cold.