Root canal therapy is used to treat pathological conditions inside a tooth that have affected its nerve tissue, and often the tissues that surround its root too.
By completing a tooth’s treatment, a dentist can both resolve its internal problems as well as set the stage so your body’s healing process can take place as effectively as possible, thus allowing the tissues surrounding its root to return to and/or maintain a healthy status.
The procedure itself is basically a two-staged process.
A) Cleansing the tooth’s interior. – The first portion of the procedure removes compromised (infected, necrotic, degenerating) tissues, and associated debris and contaminates, from within a tooth’s nerve space.
B) Sealing off the treated area. – The procedure is completed by filling in and sealing off the tooth’s cleansed internal space, so contaminates can’t leak back in, or out.
A) Cleaning the tooth. – What does this step accomplish?
Dentists use root canal treatment to resolve a wide range of nerve-related problems. For example, this same fix is used when a tooth’s nerve tissue is: 1) Acutely inflamed, 2) In the process of dying, or 3) Completely necrotic (dead).
Necrotic pulp tissue removed from a tooth.
This is nerve tissue that’s been pulled out of a tooth’s canal.
And although each of these conditions is different, what they all have in common is that they involve (or will involve) a situation where the tooth’s nerve space harbors contaminates that will ultimately leak out of the tooth’s root tip and persistently irritate (inflame) the tissues that surround it.
So, the underlying goal of the cleaning portion of the root canal procedure is for the dentist to remove as many of these irritants (or items that will degrade into irritants) as possible.
These types of items include pulp (nerve) tissue (live or dead), the organic debris left over from the breakdown of this tissue, bacteria and the toxins and additional byproducts they have created.