Part of the UT Health Science Center
Root canal treatments are performed when something called the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or irritated. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels of your teeth.
The area around your affected tooth is numbed before a root canal is performed. Your dentist will have to drill a hole in your tooth to access the pulp. Once the infected pulp is removed, the nerves and blood vessels are gone, too, and the inside of your tooth is filled with medication. Depending on the severity of the damage to your tooth, it may take multiple appointments to complete the root canal.
Once the root canal work is complete, a cap, also known as a crown, may be needed to take the place of the area of the tooth that has been drilled away. A crown looks very similar to the tooth itself and is affixed to the top of your repaired tooth.