Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.
In order to save a tooth that has decay or an infection in the pulp, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. This is called a root canal.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.
Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.
If you experience any of the following, you may need a root canal:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness