Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is performed to treat a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth) and cleaning and sealing the root canal system.
The root canal system is made up of small, thin channels that run from the pulp chamber in the center of the tooth down to the root tips. The root canal system contains nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth during development, but once the tooth is fully formed, it can survive without these tissues.
When the pulp becomes damaged or infected due to decay, trauma, or other factors, it can cause pain, sensitivity, and other symptoms. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and lead to more serious oral health problems.
During a root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist will numb the tooth and create an opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. They will then use small instruments to remove the damaged or infected pulp and clean and shape the root canals. Once the canals are clean and free of bacteria, they will be filled with a special material and sealed to prevent further infection.
After the root canal treatment, the tooth may be fitted with a crown or other restoration to protect it and restore function. With proper care, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment can last for many years.
Root canal treatment is a common and generally safe procedure, but like any dental procedure, it does carry some risks and potential complications. Your dentist or endodontist will provide you with information on what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.