What is a root canal?
When a tooth is cracked or has a very deep cavity, bacteria can enter the innermost portion of a tooth which is called the pulp. When this happens, an infection can occur. When the pulp tissue becomes infected and inflamed, it can cause sensitivity at first that can progress to significant pain and facial swelling. If left untreated, it can result in damage to your jawbone and the infection can become systemic.
The root canal procedure removes the infected nerve tissue and completely disinfects the inside of the tooth. A root canal filling is placed into the roots of the tooth and then a final restoration (which is normally a crown) is placed over the tooth stump for protection. A root canal can sometimes be done in one appointment but the majority of the time it takes two appointments.