A root canal treatment involves the removal of infected, damaged or dead pulp from the tooth root in order to save a tooth. If the damaged tooth is not treated, the infection can spread to the surrounding area of the mouth, and even to the rest of the body.
The procedure begins by accessing the infected root through a hole in the tooth. The dentist will then carefully and thoroughly remove all of the pulp as well as any infected tooth structure. Once the tooth is clean, the canal is filled and sealed, and the access hole in the tooth will be restored with a filling. It is common for the remaining tooth to need a crown to protect it from further damage.
In instances where a traditional root canal is unsuccessful, or the site becomes infected, a surgical root canal may be necessary. A surgical root canal involves the infection to be accessed directly from the jawbone and removed. It is a simple procedure performed under local anesthetic with very minimal post-op discomfort.