Just what is a root canal?
First of all, each tooth in your mouth has somewhere between one to four root canals. They are extremely little passages that run from the top of your tooth to the very tip of the root.
If a tooth becomes infected and that spreads to the pulp, you may have to get a root canal. The pulp, or inner core of the tooth, is filled with tiny blood vessels, nerves and tissue. Sometimes this area of the tooth can become infected. Should the infection progress and seriously affect the pulp, eventually it will start to damage the roots. If a tooth suffers a traumatic injury, this too can affect the pulp, which will lead to similar problems.
If you have an inner tooth that is diseased, there will be noticeable indications that it’s time for a visit to the dentist. Most likely you’ll find that the tooth is extremely sensitive to both hot and cold. There is also pain associated with a diseased tooth. As the infection spreads, there will be tiny pockets that form containing pus and this could result in an abscess.
The purpose of root canal therapy is to save the diseased tooth. Root canals are performed with a great degree of success and the tooth restored to its natural function. This requires removing all of the affected tissue and restoring the portion of the tooth that’s healthy. Prior to root canals the only option for the patient was to have the tooth removed.