Dr. Jim Ellis, dentist in Ogden, Utah: What’s on the inside of my Tooth?
Your teeth are hollow. The hollow chamber contains the blood vessels and nerves that give your teeth, life. A root canal is simply the process of accessing this chamber and scrubbing it clean of all its contents, so that it can’t cause you anymore pain. This is the inside of a molar. We were almost completed with a root canal when I decided to snap this picture. Since this is an upper molar, it has 3 roots on it. Typically, each root has one canal in it.
After the inside has been scrubbed clean, the canals are then filled with a rubberized material. The hole we make to access the nerve chamber is then filled with a typical filling material used to fill cavities.
The pink stuff you can see inside the tooth is the rubberized material that has already been placed down into the canals.
Here is a X-Ray of the molar before we worked on it. Notice in the teeth that there is a black line down the center, that is the hollow space where the nerves reside.
Now instead of black lines, you can see white lines. Those white lines are the rubberized material. If all goes well, this tooth will no longer cause the patient any more trouble.