Root canal treatment is usually performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

  1. After the tooth is numbed, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a rubber dam over the tooth to isolate it and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  2. The endodontist then makes an opening in the crown of the tooth and cleans the damaged pulp from the inside of the tooth (pulp chamber and root canals).
  3. After cleaning and shaping the root canals, the endodontist fills these empty spaces with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material) and adhesive cement, which seal the canals.
  4. The opening in the tooth is then filled with a core build-up (typically a tooth-coloured composite material).
  5. If required, the endodontist may also place a fibre post inside the tooth to help retain the core build-up.
  6. After the final visit, you should normally return to your dentist to have a crown placed on the tooth to help protect it from fracturing.