Root Canal Therapy

At the center of each tooth is an area that consists of blood vessels and nerves called the pulp. The pulp can have one or more branches called canals. If the pulp gets disrupted, root canal therapy may be required.

A root canal is sometimes recommended for a broken tooth or following a trauma, but the most common indication for this type of treatment is severe tooth decay. An untreated cavity evolves deeper into the tooth with time and can eventually reach the pulp. At this stage (pulpitis), the tooth becomes very painful due to inflammation. As the bacteria present in the cavity continue to invade the pulp, it becomes infected (necrosis). The infection can create an abscess and may become severe enough to create swelling in areas of the face. A root canal (endodontic treatment) is the process used to remove the inflamed or necrotic pulp, disinfect the tooth and fill the canal(s) with an obturating material.