Root Canal Treatment

Endodontic therapy (root canal) is a procedure done in order to save a tooth. This is a treatment in which the injured or infected pulp tissue inside a tooth is replaced with a filling material.

Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

1. The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers a local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a dental dam over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.

2. The endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and to shape the space for filling.

3. After the canals are cleaned and free from infection the endodontist fills the root canals with a bio-compatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta percha. The gutta percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.

4. A temporary filling is usually placed to close the opening.

5. After the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your general dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.