Question: What does root canal treatment really mean?

Answer: Root canal or endodontic treatment is a process whereby inflamed or dead pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth, enabling a tooth that was causing pain to be retained. Dental pulp is the soft tissue in the canal that runs through the centre of a tooth. Once a tooth is fully formed it can function normally without its pulp and be kept indefinitely. After removing the pulp, the root canals are cleaned, sterilized and shaped to a form that can be completely sealed with a filling material to prevent further infection. The treatment can take several appointments, depending on how complex the tooth is, and how long the infection takes to clear. Subsequently a crown or complex restoration to restore or protect the tooth may be a necessary recommendation, as a tooth after undergoing treatment may be more likely to fracture.

By Dr Perelgut