Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp inside the tooth. The pulp is the blood and nerve supply of the tooth. A root canal is removing the infected pulp tissue, and filling the resulting space with a rubber sealant, called gutta percha.
Root Canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success. Before root canal treatments the only other option was extraction.
Root canal therapy involves one to three visits to clean, shape, and fill the chamber. Anesthesia is usually used for all visits. A temporary filling is then placed to ensure a proper seal, and that the patient is comfortable. Occasionally the area must be reopened and the infection allowed to drain. The temporary filling allows easy access if this problem occurs. Depending on the tooth and its location, a permanent filling or crown is placed at a later date.
Most patients who have root canals experience little or no discomfort, and enjoy a fully restored tooth that functions beautifully for a long time.