Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is the process by which the inflamed or infected pulp is removed from inside the root canals of a tooth. These tiny spaces are then disinfected and subsequently filled with a biocompatible filling material.


Signs of pulp damage to a tooth include consistent pain, prolonged sensitivity to hot and/or cold, swelling in the gum area, or discoloration of the tooth (typically after trauma). Sometimes there may be no symptoms at all; therefore, the presence of pain is not always the most consistent sign of whether a tooth needs root canal therapy.


The following is a broad summary of the steps involved when performing a root canal:

  •  Local anesthesia is administered to the tooth or region
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • A small hole is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the canal space.
  • Using micro instruments, the pulp tissue is removed from the canal space.
  • The area is thoroughly disinfected using antimicrobial solutions.
  • The canal spaces are filled with a biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
  • Patients must follow up with their dentist for a permanent restoration of the tooth.

For answers to commonly asked questions, please see the FAQ section.