Top of main photo of office
Dentist Greenville SC
Need an appointment?
Web site


Root Canal

Filling in a tooth

(click to enlarge)

What is a Root Canal?

The center of a tooth is occupied by the pulp. The pulp is mostly comprised of nerve tissue, blood vessels and connective tissue. Occasionally the pulp will die usually due to deep decay, large fillings, crowns or trauma. The dead pulp tissue eventually becomes infected resulting in an abscess. There are only two options to treat an abscess, root canal therapy or extraction of the tooth.

Tooth loss should be avoided if at all possible because the surrounding teeth will drift into the site where the tooth used to be, challenging the integrity of the dental arch. Root canal therapy is performed by gaining access to the pulp space (where the pulp used to be), removing all of the dead or dying pulp tissue and cleaning the pulp space using a bleach solution.

The pulp space is then filled with a material known as gutta percha and sealed with a restoration. Posterior teeth should be restored with a crown to help strengthen the compromised tooth. Anterior teeth can often be restored with a filling unless the tooth is too badly damaged.

Image Source: