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Understanding the Roots of a Root Canal

Understanding the roots of a root canal means understanding the overall anatomy of a tooth. Your teeth are a part of your body that need to be cared for and maintained. The visible portion of your tooth, called the crown, is subject to injury and decay which can lead to infection within the tooth’s roots.

The outer most layer of the tooth is called enamel. This is the hardest part of the tooth. Just inside the enamel is dentin, a hard tissue comprised of small tubes. These tubes of dentin connect directly with the tooth’s pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is located in the center of the tooth. The pulp chamber contains the pulp. The pulp is made of nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics. The pulp travels within the root canals in each root.


When it comes to roots and root canals, not every tooth is created equal. Incisors and canines typically have only one root with one root canal. Premolars can have one or two roots with one or two corresponding root canals. Molars have either two or three roots with three or possibly four root canals, sometimes even more.

Unfortunately, this means there are a lot of roots and root canals that can become infected and inflamed. This may occur due to bacteria entering the tooth’s pulp through cracks, chips, or openings caused by deep decay through the enamel and dentin layers. A faulty crown or frequent dental work on the same tooth may also lead to infection and inflammation.

Without treatment, decay can lead to an abscessed tooth. If infection is present, a root canal procedure or treatment can help save the tooth. During root canal treatment, your endodontist removes the pulp from inside each root canal, disinfects each of the root canals, and then seals the space with an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory material to prevent further infection.

With over 14 million root canal procedures performed every year, this simple treatment is the ideal option for helping you keep your teeth when pulp infection is present. Now that you understand the roots of your root canal treatment, call Central Ohio Endodontics today to schedule your consultation and root canal treatment.