Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.

A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.

Procedure:

  • The patient undergoes anesthesia.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
  • The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.

A drawn diagram of tooth anatomy shows the crown of a tooth, consisting of the white enamel outer layer, a fleshy dentin layer, and pulp on the innermost part of a tooth. The crown sits on the gums. Below the gums is the root, which contains nerves and blood vessels surrounded by an extension of the pulp layer and is within the root canal. Around the root area are bone.