A root canal is necessary when the most inner layer of the tooth, the pulp, becomes infected. The pulp is the living part of the tooth which contains nerves and blood vessels. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed and the area is cleaned. When the area is clean and dry, material is placed to fill in the inner part of the tooth. The root canal process is usually completed in 2 appointments. When the root canal is complete, the crown of the tooth needs to be restored. Due to the tooth’s loss of structure, it has weakened and needs to be covered by an artificial crown (cap). Some root canals may need to be referred to an endodontist due to difficulty of root canal.
The crown of a tooth is portion of the tooth above the gumline. It is covered by a hard substance called enamel. The natural crown may need to be replaced by an artificial crown, commonly called a “cap”. Crowns can be made of various different materials.