A root canal is a procedure in which the nerve and blood supply of the tooth is removed and replaced with an inert, plastic material. These are necessary when:
- A cavity has reached the inner chamber of the tooth, contaminating it with bacteria in the saliva.
- A facial injury results in trauma to the tooth which causes the nerve inside the tooth to die off.
- Repeated dental procedures cause the nerve to become irreversibly inflamed.
A root canal can often be completed in one office visit but sometimes will require a second visit depending on the extent of the infection present. It is often started as part of emergency treatment and provides rapid pain relief of the affected tooth.