Root canal treatment (or endodontic treatment) is a procedure that is used to treat infections in the root canal and save natural teeth by removing the infected pulp, cleaning the interior of the tooth, then filling and sealing it.
The tooth pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues that nourish the root of the tooth during its development. However, a developed tooth can survive without the pulp, making it possible to remove the pulp safely during endodontic treatment if it becomes inflamed or infected.
Inflammation or infection of the dental pulp can happen due to a variety of causes, such as deep tooth decay or trauma. If untreated, it can lead to an abscess and cause severe pain.
An endodontist removes the pulp when it has become inflamed or infected, cleans and shapes the interior of the root canal, then fills the empty space and seals it. Patients will be asked to return to their dentist later to place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect it from further damage and restore normal functionals.
A root canal treatment is practically painless thanks to modern techniques and numbing medications, and provides instant relief to people who are experiencing pain from disease. While you might feel some tenderness discomfort after treatment, painkillers will be prescribed to help manage it.
With good at-home care and regular dental check-ups, natural teeth can last a lifetime after root canal treatment.