The root canal therapy is used to remove the inflamed or necrotized pulp of the tooth around the crown and root. The purpose of the procedure is to eliminate often painful infections and preserve the tooth. The name devitalization stems from the fact that the process is used to remove the nerve and vascular endings of the tooth, which normally make that tooth vital and sensitive.
Phases of devitalization include emptying of the crown and root canals through removal of the necrotic pulp, then shaping of the root canals to make them more suitable to receive the filling material. This is followed by cleaning and sterilization of the root canal in order to prevent infection spreading. Final stage is filling of the root canal with special materials and radiographic control of the results.
There are some cases when it is not possible to perform devitalization of the tooth. For example when the root canals are not accessible, when the inflammation has damaged the tooth too much or when there is a lack of a proper bone support for the procedure. In these cases, the inflamed tooth should be extracted and for aesthetical reasons replaced with an implant or a bridge.