A root canal treatment, which is also referred to as an endodontic treatment, is a common dental procedure that is used by dentists to remove diseased or dead nerve tissue from inside a tooth.
The nerve tissue is the soft part of the tooth that begins at the crown of the tooth and goes all the way down to the root. Previously, the disease was likely to spread to the tooth and jaw, causing infection and removal of the tooth. Nowadays, dentists can often recognize that a nerve is diseased before it has a chance to infect the tooth. Following discovery of this diseased nerve, the dentist can perform a root canal to remove the pulp, including the damaged nerve.
What does a root canal procedure entail?
The dentist will drill a small hole into the tooth and remove the pulp. The root canal is then thoroughly cleansed and re-shaped so the hole can be filled. Once the cleaning is complete, the dentist will use an antiseptic to kill any remaining germs. If the infection has spread too far to be killed by this point, the dentist may administer medicine to handle the infection and/or leave the hole open for a few days so it has a chance to drain. Following this, the root canal and pulp cavity will be filled and sealed. The last step is the placement of a crown over the tooth to give it extra strength and so it matches the rest of the teeth. This whole procedure involves little to no pain, and it takes anywhere from 1 – 3 visits.