Endodontic therapy (known as a Root Canal) involves the removal of decayed or infected pulp (the soft core material at the center of each tooth) through an opening created in the top portion of the tooth. An infection and/or decay occurs when bacteria enters the pulp through an untreated crack or deep cavity. As the pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, an infection or decay can cause intense pain. A tooth abscess may also form leading to pulp death, pain, bone loss and loss of the tooth itself.
Endodontic therapy requires dental X-rays in order to check the extent of damage and to properly diagnose. A local anesthetic is used and once the pulp has been removed, the area inside the center portion of your tooth is filled with a special rubber-like material and the upper part of the tooth is sealed with dental cement to seal the root canal. Treatment may require 1 to 3 appointments depending on the extent of the infection/inflammation and the degree of difficulty of the treatment needed. The purpose of this procedure is to try to repair and save the damaged tooth instead of losing it or extracting it due to further decay.