Root Canals (Endodontics)

What Are Root Canals?

Every tooth has a space located in the center of the crown and root portions of the tooth. This space is referred to as the pulp. The pulp contains nerve and blood tissue. When tooth decay is deep and enters this space, or a tooth has severe trauma, the pulp becomes infected. Then root canal therapy is needed.

The basic procedure is done as follows. A dental hand piece is used to remove all the decay and the contents of the pulp are also totally removed, leaving an empty space. Instruments are used to clean and shape the space.

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The root space is then filled with a rubberlike material. The roots and crown portion of the tooth remain. Then a permanent filling is placed to replace all missing tooth structure from tooth decay and upper crown portion of the missing pulp space. Once a tooth has had root canal therapy the tooth is weakened. After root canal therapy and the permanent filling are placed, a crown is then placed on the tooth by a dentist. The crown strengthens and protects the tooth.

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