Root canal is needed when the nerve of the tooth is damaged by decay (caries) or infection. As a part of the treatment to save a tooth before placing a final restoration (a filling or a crown), the nerve of the tooth must be removed through an access prepared in the tooth. After isolating the tooth with a rubber dam (a plastic sheet) the access to the nerve is prepared. The nerve is then removed using special instruments. The space which the nerve occupies is then cleaned thoroughly and shaped then filled with a biocompatible material that is cemented in place to seal the nerve space completely from bacteria. The final restoration is then placed whether it’s a filling, crown or a fixed bridge.
Many patients believe that removing the tooth is better than having root canal therapy. Replacing a tooth with a fixed restoration is often more costly and can compromise the adjacent teeth. Root canal therapy have been proven to be a very successful treatment that allows us to save teeth.