Root Canal Therapy

A root canal or “endo” is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and then cleaned, disinfected and the root system is filled. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

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Step 1: Molar with deep decay, possibly painful or very sensitive.

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Step 2: Decay is deep enough to reach pulp, and tooth is determined to have infected or necrotic pulp.

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Step 3: A conservative access to infected pulp is made through crown of tooth.

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Step 4: Pulp tissue and infected tooth structure are removed, and canal is disinfected.

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Step 5: Canals are obterated (filled) with gutta percha to prevent future infection.

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Step 6: A restoration is placed to close and seal off access. Often times a tooth with a root canal needs to be crowned.