Root canal treatment is commonly done to resolve toothaches and sensitivity in teeth. Root canal treatment entails the removal of the tooth’s pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled. This procedure seals off the root canal.
Why is Endodontic Treatment or Root Canal Treatment Required?
Endodontic treamtent is used to remove damaged, diseased or dead pulp within a tooth root. Once the pulp is infected or dead, if left untreated, pus can build up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming an abscess. An abscess can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth and cause pain and toothaches.
The most common causes of pulp damage or death are:
- A cracked tooth
- A deep cavity
- An injury to a tooth, such as a severe knock to the tooth, either recent or in the past
Root Canal Treatment Procedure
Root canal treatment consists of several steps that take place over several office visits, depending on the situation and severity of the infection These steps are:
- First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a pre-molar or molar tooth
- After the diseased pulp is remove, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled. If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.
- The tooth is then observed and monitored for any symptons of continued infection
- The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A tapered, rubbery material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement.
- In the final step, crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is very broken down, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.