Treatment is performed by removing the diseased or dead pulp tissue from each canal in the tooth. Front teeth may have as few as one canal, while back molars may have up to four or more. The root canal spaces are thoroughly cleaned, shaped and filled with a material called “gutta percha” which is a biocompatible material that has been used successfully for decades. Root canal treatments can often be completed in one visit, however, difficult teeth with many or strangely shaped canals may require a second appointment.
The great majority of root canal treatments are non-surgical and are designed to save natural teeth and prevent the need to replace teeth lost with dental implants, bridges or partials. At the center of a tooth lies a soft-tissue called the pulp. The pulp is comprised of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue which is responsible for developing and nourishing the hard structure of the tooth. Due to decay, extensive restorations or trauma, the pulp may become irreversibly inflamed or infected. Symptoms stemming from this condition include temperature sensitivity, pain, swelling and sensitivity to pressure.