What does a root canal treatment consist of?

The length of a root canal treatment depends on the severity of damage to the pulp inside your tooth, the location of your tooth, and the shape of your root canals. Treatment begins with an anesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain and in some cases, your dentist, or endodontist, may use a sedative as well. A rubber dam is then used to seal off the area your dentist is working on, and a hole is drilled through your tooth to reach the root canals. This can be done on the top or the back of your tooth. The pulp is removed and your root canals are measured using an X-ray or an apex locator to make sure all the pulp is gone and also to determine how much material will be necessary to fill the newly emptied cavity. When all the pulp has been removed and your root canals have been carefully cleaned with antiseptic, your dentist will use a filling to seal your tooth. If a crown is necessary, a temporary filling will be used until your crown is ready to be cemented to your tooth.

A root canal treatment generally involves the removal and replacement of a tooth’s pulp. The pulp is soft tissue containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. During a root canal, the dentist removes the pulp, and the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Afterwards, the dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.


Continue Learning about Root Canal Therapy

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A root canal may also be needed following traumatic injury to a tooth, e.g., fall, sports injury, et...
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What should I think about if I have a root canal treatment?
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It would be best to think about all your options and the fees before you do the root canal. You and ...
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Vahid H. Bashi, DDSVahid H. Bashi, DDS
I have personally performed thousands of root canals and you can get many different results. The pro...
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What happens after a root canal?
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After a root canal therapy (RCT) has been performed and the tooth is asymptomatic (does not hurt any...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.