Root canal treatment saves millions of teeth each year. This treatment is necessary when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. The pulp, which is the living tissue inside the tooth, is removed in order to save the tooth. Next, the area is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, in effort to reestablish the tooth to its full function. After this procedure is done will be necessary to reinforce the tooth using core build up, post & core or cast post and finally placing a crown.
For this procedure the dentist might use local anesthesia. The dentist will then prepare the tooth by drilling an opening. After the dentist removes all of the decay and bacteria, he / she will use root canal files to clean out the canals (roots) of the tooth. Root canal files are small instruments that increase in diameter and fit down into the canals enabling the dentist to remove the nerve. Sometimes the dentists should wait a week or two before they finish a root canal, to make sure that there is no discomfort or further infection. If this is the case, the dentist will thoroughly clean the tooth and usually put some soothing medicine inside and seal it closed with a temporary filling material.
At the final stage of a root canal treatment, the dentist will usually fill the canals with a rubber filling material called gutta percha. After the canals are filled, a regular filling will be placed in the tooth.