What is a root canal? Also what is the process of getting one done?



What is a root canal? Also what is the process of getting one done?

In: Biology

I really don’t think this is considered “biology” but I just want to know what a root canal is. I’ve seen a picture of one being done with little screws going up into someone’s tooth and now I’m a bit curious.


Teeth have one or multiple roots, that’s the part going into your jawbone, ensuring your teeth stay in place.

The outside of your teeth is hard, as you probably know, but inside it is softer, there is this stuff called pulpa. The pulpa also is within the root, in a sort of small tube you might say, this is the root canal. And within it there runs a nerve.

Unfortunately, the inside of that canal or where the root/tooth stops and it resides in your jaw, can get infected. This causes buildup of infectious stuff and causes pain. In the worst case it can destroy the tooth.

What your dentist will do is drill a hole in the top of your teeth, to get access to the pulpa. And next he will drill right through the canal, until he reaches all the way to the end, where your tooth stops. He cleans all infected stuff, rinses it out using a desinfectand and makes sure it is all clean. The nerve unfortunately will be lost in this process. But when everything is clean and the infection is gone, he will close everything up again, filling the empty space left behind. And your tooth will be saved from the infection.

Every tooth has nerve and a blood supply running through it. Because it is all confined to within the tooth it can present a problem if it becomes infected. The immune system cannot “eliminate” the infection like other areas of the body. Taking an antibiotic only works for a few weeks. To remedy this problem the dentist removes the nerve, artery and cause of infection (bacteria) from the tooth. The space is then carefully refilled with a natural substance called gutta percha, which allows the tooth to be whole again. The tooth will then be allowed to heal and the infection will be eliminated, and pain will be gone.