A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures. A root canal can save your natural tooth and prevent extraction.
How is a root canal performed?
Your dentist will perform a root canal when the root of your tooth becomes infected. Infection of the root, if left untreated, can cause deep decay, cracks and long-term damage. If you experience tooth pain and discomfort and have trouble chewing, a root canal may be needed. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the infected, or dead root (pulp) from your tooth. First you will receive a local anesthetic, then your dentist will remove the infected area by creating an opening in the tooth. Once cleaned, your dentist will fill and seal the tooth with a filling. The tooth may also require a crown to help bring it back to normal form and function.
When would I need a root canal?
Teeth that need root canal therapy are infected in the pulp—a collection of blood vessels in the center of every tooth that support it. Most patients with infections first realize it when they have sensitivity to temperature, pain in the specific tooth or gums, or visible injury with swelling.