What is a root canal? Why would someone need one?

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A root canal is a dental procedure. It is a type of treatment to save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During a root canal the nerve and the pulp of the tooth is removed. It is then sealed. If a tooth is in this condition it is important that it be treated promptly, otherwise the surrounding tissue may become infected and an abscess could form. This is very painful.

I have had a root canal and I had a great deal of pain before the procedure. It was well worth it. The first thing the dentist (endodontist) will do is numb the area around the tooth. An access hole is drilled into the tooth and the material is removed. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Sometimes the dentist will put a temporary filling in the tooth and have the patient come back about a week later for the permanent one.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A root canal is a dental procedure in which dead or dying tissue is removed from the tooth. The superior part of the tooth is removed to expose the pulp. The pulp is how the tooth receives its blood supply, it extends all the way to the jaw bone on top(maxilla) or bottom(mandible). The dead tissue is removed, the area is cleaned out, antibiotic drops may be instilled, the tooth is then filled with a temporary filling.

Several days or weeks later, a "crown" is placed over the tooth that underwent root canal and the procedure is now complete. A crown is a dental prosthesis that must be made specifically for the tooth in question.

If a root canal is needed, two options exist. Have the procedure done or extract the tooth.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Root canal is a part of tooth of animals. The inner most part of toot is called pulp, which consists of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The pulp itself has two parts , the pulp chamber and the root canal. Pulp chamber lies in the crown of the tooth and the root canal lies in the root of the tooth. Blood vessels and nerves enter the root canal through a small at the tip of the root canal, and extend through it into the pulp chamber. These blood vessels nourish the tooth while the nerves carry the sensation of pain to the brain.

The term root canal is often also used for dental treatment called root canal treatment. This treatment is required when the root canal of a tooth is so infected that the infection cannot be removed completely. This causes frequent pain in the affected tooth. To eliminate such pain a hole is drilled through the crown of the tooth to get an access to the root canal. Then through this hole the root canal is physically cleaned by the dentists, and then filled with suitable material. Finally a cap is put on the tooth so that the filling in the tooth does not come out.