A root canal is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the remaining space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its normal function.
A root canal is very successful and can last a lifetime.
Possible signs and symptoms that require a root canal:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache pain.
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the tissue inside the tooth).
- Infection has developed inside the tooth or at the tip of the root.
- Injury or trauma to the tooth.