What is Root Canal Therapy?

Maintaining great oral health and an irresistible smile on our face is important for all of us. We are taught to take care of our teeth since our youngest age to save ourselves from the uncomfortable experience related to decaying teeth.

However, some things are out of our control, and no matter how much we take care of them, they are still prone to infections. As a consequence, the most common inflammation is related to a particular nerve tissue that’s in every tooth’s root chamber.

Before we delve into a detailed representation of the root canal treatment, we owe you a brief definition of what it is. Simply put, it’s a procedure of repairing the infected tooth to save it from further decay.

It’s an essential treatment that will keep your oral health in perfect condition, and therefore it’s essential to know the reasons of its occurrence, the therapy options and the ways to prevent from it in the future.

Dental Plan Tip

Root canal treatments are extremely expensive. To prevent these expensive trips to dentists it’s best to brush your teeth after every meal as well as floss them.

This may be very helpful: Best Dental Insurance Plans for Individuals & Families (2018 Updated)

What are the Causes?

The treatment is done when there is visible damage of the teeth’s pulp or the nerve tissue. As a consequence, there is increased build-up of bacteria within the tooth’s inner chamber, and there is a formation of an abscess. The abscess is a pocket that’s filled with pus, and it’s created at the end of the tooth’s roots.

Also, the pain can be severe and cause your face, neck or any other area that’s close to the infected tooth to start swelling. More severe symptoms include drainage into the gums caused by the root, and it can even spread to your skin and the cheeks.

So, long story short, the main cause of that painful experience is the infection or the inflammation of the pulp in the tooth due to the extensive decay. Also, it can be because of improper previous dental procedures that have contributed to further tooth’s decomposition.

Jump to: What Causes Cavity?

Endodontic Treatments (Root Canal Therapy)

What is Endodontic Root Canal TreatmentWhen such inflammation occurs, there is a need for a proper therapy to be conducted. Usually, it requires several visits to the dentist, who is highly specialized in the field of endodontics. That’s a dentistry field that focuses on diseases and treatments related to the dental pulp.

Once, you find the right dentist to treat your infected tooth; the therapy can start. There are several steps, and we will briefly describe them.

First, you need to take an x-ray of your tooth, so that it can be adequately examined. Once the inflammation is detected, the dentist will numb the place so that you don’t feel any pain. The endodontist will use dental dam for the environment to be saliva-free.

When the environment is set like that, a hole is created so that the infected spots are reached and cleaned from the decayed parts. They are being cleaned by using endodontic flies that are placed into the tooth chamber so that the debris is thoroughly scraped. The dentist will wash your mouth several times during the procedure.

In the end, when the cleaning process is finished, the tooth is filled with medication for faster healing of the spot. Once it’s cleared up, it is sealed with gutta-percha that fills the tooth’s hole. After it’s sealed, the endodontist will restore it to protect it from breaking.

Alternative Endodontic Treatments

These treatments usually take place if the previous one has been unsuccessful. There are several alternatives:

  • Endodontic surgery – If the simple therapy hasn’t been successful, then the dentist may recommend a surgical procedure. It’s conducted to treat smaller inflamed canals that haven’t been detected during the initial tooth’s scan. The most widely used surgery is known as apicoectomy and is supposed to heal every hidden spot.
  • Tooth extraction and implants – This is the final alternative if nothing else works. The tooth is permanently extracted and replaced with an implant, or other solutions as a bridge or a fitting denture. That will prevent your teeth from changing their positions, and it will maintain your chewing capabilities.

Also see: How does Plaque cause a cavity?


As we have seen by now, the leading cause of such inflammation is the decay. Even though sometimes we cannot do much if our teeth are prone to such infections, we can adopt healthy habits that will at least lower the probability of their occurrence.

Importance of Brushing, Flossing

As a consequence, having specific practices will decrease the need for any endodontic procedures. By healthy habits, we mean regular brushing of your teeth with an electric toothbrush, daily flossing with the highest quality water flosser, and regular dental check-ups.

With all of that said, we hope that you have gained a better insight into the causes and the treatment of a root canal infection. We believe that you can prevent yourself from the pain of it by just performing the healthy habits on a daily basis.

Up next: How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply