A root canal, or endodontic treatment, is necessary when the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected due to a serious injury, crack, or decay of a tooth. This should be treated immediately otherwise a tooth abscess (and severe pain) is likely to occur.
Only a qualified endodontist can perform a root canal. These specialists are dentists that have completed an additional two years of education and unique training that focuses on the care and treatment of the inner parts of the tooth and the tooth pulp. Your dentist will usually refer you to an endodontist for a root canal if you require one.
If you require a root canal, an endodontist will perform the actual root canal procedure and then your general dentist will perform a permanent restoration on the tooth to finish the procedure.
- First, the endodontist applies a local anesthetic to the tooth and adjacent area.
- Then, a dental dam is used to isolate the affected tooth and keep it clean during the procedure.
- Once the anesthetic has numbed the area, your endodontist will create an opening in the top of the affected tooth and carefully remove the soft pulp and nerve before shaping the interior of the tooth for filling.
- Next, a rubber-like biocompatible material is inserted into the cleaned, medicated root canal.
- The last step for your endodontist is to place a temporary filling in the tooth.
- Then, your general dentist will perform a permanent restoration – like a crown for example- to protect and strengthen your tooth.