What is a root canal?

Teeth undergo stresses through life, and sometimes those stresses cause fracturing or

chipping. If teeth aren’t cleaned properly as a part of a regular routine, cavities can develop. All 

of the problems listed above are easily treatable if they are treated in an adequate amount of 

time from the onset of the issue. But if the affected tooth does not get treatment, decay sets in, 

and once that happens it moves deeper and deeper into a tooth. Generally the decay of the 

tooth starts in the crown, which is nearest to the surface, but this decay can quickly and easily 

spread deeper inside of the tooth. When this happens, the infection begins to move into the 

canals of your teeth. At this point, a root canal is needed fairly urgently.

A root canal is a procedure in which the pulp and nerve of a tooth are fully removed from the 

roots of the affected tooth in order to stop tooth decay.  During the first part of the root canal, a 

hole is drilled through side or top of crown to get to the root. A special tool is then used to clean 

the inside of the canal of the root to remove all of the decayed pulp and nerve tissue. Once the 

root is empty and sterile, it is filled with a gutta­percha, which is a specialized filling material. 

This material seals off the tooth and prevents any further damage from decay. Most people 

need a crown, or large filling due to the excessive decay which caused the need for the root 

canal in the first place. This is to protect the weakened tooth from deteriorating any further. Due 

to the nature of this procedure, in which the nerve tissue of the tooth is fully removed, the 

affected tooth will no longer register sensations such as hot or cold. 

Each tooth has one or more roots which affix the tooth deep in your gums. Inside these roots 

are canals, which house blood vessels and nerve endings that connect to the rest of your 

nervous system. It is very important to catch the infection at this point because if the decay 

proceeds below the root and into the nerves below the tooth the process becomes much more 

involved, not to mention much more painful.