Root canal therapy is treatment for an infected and often painful tooth. The treatment involves removing any pus or remaining nerve tissue, cleaning the infected area, and sealing the roots. Once started, the infection typically spreads to the surrounding bone, producing pain. Untreated, the infection can damage the surrounding bone to an extent that the tooth must be removed. Systemic spread of dental infections can damage other parts of your body, particularly the coronary arteries of your heart. Death from brain or chest infections may occur from untreated dental abscesses.
After reviewing and discussing the situation, medical history, and vital signs, the area will be numb. There should be no pain during the root canal procedure. The tooth will be isolated to help clean and sterilize the infected tooth pulp area and to prevent infected tooth debris from getting into the mouth. The root canal treats the tooth, but often an antibiotic will be prescribed to treat the infection in the bone and surrounding tooth. Once the pulp area is cleaned and sterilized, it is sealed with a root canal filling material. The top of the tooth will then need a permanent repair. Success rates are very high and a crown is often recommended once the root canal is completed.