Root Canal Therapy, also known as Endodontic Treatment, is a procedure that dentists perform in order to restore a tooth once the nerve within the canal has died. Situations such as, deep tooth decay or trauma can cause this to happen. In addition, through the process of the tissue dying, often times the tooth can become infected as well. This infection can be released through the tip of the root causing the infection to eat away at the supporting bone. Once the nerve of the tooth has died, and/or has become infected, the tooth cannot heal on its own, leaving the patient with two options; Extraction (removal) of the tooth, or Root Canal Therapy.
Root canal therapy is the process in which the Dentist will access the canal and remove the dying and infected tissue. Once this is done, the canal will be irrigated, and a filling material called gutta percha will be placed in order to seal up the canal. Through this process the necrotic tissue will be removed from within the tooth, but the tooth will remain. Although not every situation is a candidate for root canal therapy, if applicable it is a great option to prolong the life of the tooth.