Trauma to a tooth can cause an inflammatory reaction of the pulp (commonly called the “nerve”). If the inflammation cannot be eased, the canal that contains the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth must be cleaned and treated to stop the inflammation process. This is called a “root canal”. If the inflammation persists, the tooth can become very painful or even necrotized, which can leave a very painful dental abscess.
A tooth affected by one of the following traumas may require a root canal:
A root canal is completed in several steps. First, the canal of the tooth must be accessed through the crown. Due to large anatomical variance, the exact number of canals required per tooth cannot be predicted. Next, the canals must be cleaned, disinfected and carefully enlarged. Once they are cleaned and shaped, the interior of the canal is sealed with a gutta-percha filling. Finally, the tooth must be reconstructed with an obturation or, ideally, with a crown.