Trauma, cavities, cracks or defective fillings that have been ignored can cause bacteria to reach the dental pulp—the part in the center of the tooth—and infect it. When this happens, the tooth can even become abscessed. A full examination and regular hygiene therapy sessions are efficient ways to avoid reaching this level of deterioration. But when the infection of the pulp becomes irreversible, a root canal treatment is necessary to relieve pain and avoid tooth loss.
During the procedure, the tooth is devitalized while being kept in place. To do this, the dentist removes the infected or dead pulp. Once this is done, the canal is cleaned and filled, and the tooth is completely restored so that it can look and function like a natural tooth. A root canal treatment generally calls for one or two appointments. One tooth may have one to even five canals! The tooth must then be restored; a crown can sometimes be used if what is left of the natural tooth lacks strength.
If you have just had a root canal treatment, see post-op instructions.