A root canal is usually performed by an endodontist (a specialist who cares for the inside of teeth).

The following are the steps of a root canal procedure:

  • The endodontist prepares for the procedure by examining and X-raying the tooth. Next, the dentist gives a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and places a protective covering (rubber dam) in the person’s mouth to isolate the damaged tooth and protect the rest of the mouth.
  • The endodontist makes an opening in the top of the tooth to access the delicate structures inside. The dentist then removes the pulp from the chamber and root canals using very small instruments.
  • The dentist then cleans and shapes the root canals to make space for the filling, and possibly, a post to support the tooth.
  • The endodontist fills the root canals with a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha and then places an adhesive on top of the gutta-percha to seal it within the tooth.
  • The endodontist will then put a temporary filling on top of the tooth to protect the inside of the tooth while it is healing.

A person who has undergone root canal treatment will need to revisit the dentist to have the temporary filling removed. At this stage, the dentist will either put in a permanent crown or will carry out other permanent restoration on the tooth.

Once the root canal is complete, the tooth should be back to full functioning and should not cause any more pain.


Root canal treatments are carried out millions of times each year. In most cases, endodontic treatment can successfully save a tooth that has been infected or damaged.

New technologies and anesthetics help to ensure that a root canal procedure is as comfortable as possible. People who experience severe or lasting pain should report it to the endodontist for further evaluation.



Article originally appeared at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/