There are several steps in the process of endodontic treatment, most commonly known as a root canal. If the pulp of one of your teeth become injured or infected, the tooth can be saved most often through root canal treatment. After local anesthetic is given, an opening is made through the top of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The pulp tissue is removed from both the pulp chamber and canals of the tooth, which are in the root of the tooth. Each canal is cleaned and shaped, then medication is placed to help eliminate bacteria. A temporary filling is then placed.
During the next step, the temporary filling is removed and the tooth is filled with a rubber-like material to seal the canals. Lastly, the tooth is restored with possibly a post for stability and finished with a filling (for most front teeth) or a crown (all back teeth) to strengthen it and decrease the risk of the tooth fracturing in the future.
A tooth that has been endodontically restored can last for years. However, teeth with root canals can still become decayed, fracture, or gum disease can develop around the tooth. Just like our natural teeth, good cleaning habits and regular dental exams will help you keep and maintain your root canaled teeth.