When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, the nerve will start to die and eventually, decompose. In order to save the tooth, a root canal is performed. The pulp, nerves, bacteria, and decay are removed and the space is filled with special, dental materials that restore the tooth.
A root canal is an alternative solution to a tooth extraction (link to extraction page), and can be less costly, and less likely to cause problems to adjacent teeth. This procedure can preserve the tooth and keep it stable for years.
A root canal is a relatively straightforward process. All the decay is removed and the nerve is removed. The open canal is then cleaned, medicated, and sealed off to prevent reinfection.
This process is very similar to filling, however the length of the treatment is usually longer because a larger area is being filled.
Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment. Regular dental visits can help prevent the necessity for root canals.