Root canal therapy restores and saves an average of 17 million teeth each year.
Root canals are typically performed when decay is extensive or the tooth is infected. Root canals actually save the damaged tooth and are the preferred option compared to a complete extraction.
Modern-day technology is a great thing! During a routine root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. It’s actually a common procedure and less painful than most fear. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form resulting in more complex issues, possibly even hospitalization.
Root canal is used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal and is accessed by drilling into the top of the tooth. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and related debris are removed from the tooth. The interior of the tooth is then filled with a rubber compound and is placed into the tooth’s root canal. To fill the exterior access hole created at the beginning of the root canal, a filling is required to seal that hole.
The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs a root canal often is one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown is often required to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
Thankfully, a tooth’s nerve is not vital to a tooth’s health and performance. Its only function is to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.