A root canal treatment is commonly performed after a tooth’s innermost pulp layer becomes inflamed or infected. This can occur if the tooth experiences deep decay, or trauma because of an injury or accident.
A tooth consists of an outer layer made of enamel and dentin. Beneath this protective covering is the pulp, which consists primarily of nerves and blood vessels. Due to the tooth’s unique anatomy, the pulp is usually unable to heal after it becomes infected, requiring removal. A fully mature or adult tooth can survive without the pulp because of the surrounding tissue providing it with necessary support and nutrition.
If a patient is fortunate enough to have the option, it is more beneficial to save the tooth with an endodontic procedure rather than to have it extracted and lose it forever.
1. A tooth with normal nerve (pulp) and healthy root canals
2. An infected root canal due to decay, leading to infection at the root ends (abscess)
3. Root canal is cleaned using instruments and fluids
4. The root is filled & sealed with endodontic material and a temporary filling is placed to close the cavity
5. A core can be placed in order to strengthen an endodontically treated tooth
6. Alternatively, a post can be added inside the root canal for increased strength of the tooth