When faced with severe tooth pain or infection, many people fear that extraction is their only option. Root canal treatment can actually be valuable in saving a toot, preserving its function and appearance. Here’s how root canal treatment works and why it’s a valuable alternative to tooth extraction.

Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal treatment is designed to treat infection or damage within the tooth’s pulp—the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. This treatment aims to eliminate bacteria, remove infected tissue, and protect the tooth from further damage.

The Procedure

During a root canal procedure, the dentist or endodontist follows these steps:

Diagnosis and Preparation

X-rays are taken to assess the extent of the infection and create a treatment plan. Local anesthesia is administered to ensure patient comfort.

Accessing the Pulp

A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals.

Cleaning and Shaping: 

The infected or damaged pulp is safely removed, then the root canals are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and shaped to prepare for the filling.

Filling the Canals

The cleaned canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha, which seals the space and prevents re-infection.

Tooth Restoration

The tooth is temporarily sealed, and a follow-up appointment is scheduled for permanent restoration, typically with a crown to reinforce the tooth’s structure and function.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment:

Preserves Natural Teeth

Root canal treatment saves the natural tooth, allowing you to maintain your natural bite and chew comfortably.

Aesthetic Advantages

Keeping your natural tooth avoids the need for prosthetics and preserves the appearance of your smile.

Prevents Further Complications

Treating the infection prevents it from spreading to adjacent teeth or other parts of the body, avoiding more serious health issues.


Although the initial cost of a root canal may be higher than extraction, it can be more economical in the long term by avoiding the need for bridges, implants, or dentures.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your dentist promptly. Root canal treatment can often save your tooth, providing relief from pain and preserving your dental health.

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