Root canals are necessary when the nerve of the tooth is injured by either a deep cavity or trauma to the tooth. The procedure involves getting the tooth numb and removing the nerve of the tooth and any diseased tooth structure.
Once healthy teeth have become infected or damaged, their nerves often die along with the teeth. Usually, the only way to save such an infected tooth is with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy (also referred to as endodontic therapy) is the name given to the process of removing the tooth’s pulp, then cleaning all the infected tissue in the pulp chamber and root canal. Tiny files are used until all traces of the pulp are gone. Usually on the first visit the infected pulp is removed and the infected chamber is cleaned. Then medication is left in the pulp chamber for a period of a few weeks to eliminate all bacteria.
Provided all bacteria are eliminated, on the second visit the tooth can be sealed with a pink substance called gutta-percha, which prevents bacteria from getting to the root of the tooth again.
A crown will be fitted over the tooth so the structure of the tooth it is not compromised and its appearance remains the same.