Spontaneous pain and throbbing, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, severe decay or an injury that crates an abscess (infection) in the bone necessitates removal of the infected or irritated nerve tissue that lies within the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that causes an eventual abscess.
The procedure involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning and sealing of the root canal with a sterile, plastic material, called gutta percha This is done in order to prevent possible future infection. Root canals usually are followed up with crowns to protect the tooth from fracture.
Once upon a time, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called a root canal therapy you may save that tooth. Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don’t remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!