This treatment is done by either your dentist or a specialist (endodontist). Root Canal Therapy is normally done due to a bacterial infection in a tooth, or a large fracture of the tooth that exposes, or nearly exposes, the nerve. The doctor will administer local anesthesia to try to minimize any possible pain the patient may feel during the procedure. The operator will gain access into the pulp (nerve) by drilling into the tooth. Once the pulp is fully exposed, they will use dental instruments to not only clean the canals of the tooth but also to enlarge the root canal diameter.
Enlarging the canals is done to allow medicine to be dispersed amongst the system and to ensure removal of all pulp tissue. This is important, especially in the case of an infection, as the pulp tissue is the cause of the infection. Once the canals are thoroughly cleaned and shaped, the operator will fill and seal the canal with gutta percha. Once this is complete, either a temporary or a permanent filling is placed to close the access. Upon successful completion of the root canal, the patient should have a crown (cap) placed on the tooth.