What does it involve?

Root canal treatment consists of several steps that may take place over several office visits, depending on the situation. These steps are:

  • First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar.
  • After the diseased pulp is removed (a pulpectomy), the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled
  • If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.
  • The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A tapered, rubbery material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement. Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support.