Root Canal Therapy
Every tooth in your mouth contains from one to four root canals. They are little tunnels that start at the bottom of the pulp cavity and end at the bottom of each root. The pulp cavity contains nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues. Many dental problems occur when the an infection gets into the pulp of the tooth and then spreads to the roots. If the tooth suffers a trauma, such as a blow, the blow can damage the pulp and cause problems in the root canals, too.
Your first indication of a problem might be increased sensitivity, often to the point of pain. If you don’t take care of the problem promptly, the infection can result in development of an abscess, which contains infected pus. It used to be that when this happened, the only thing the dentist could do to give you relief was pull the tooth. Today, however, the dentist can save the tooth by performing a root canal instead. The dentist drills into the top of the tooth, cleans the pulp cavity and whatever root canals might be there, and puts in medication and an elastic material. The dentist can then seal the tooth by placing a crown over the hole that was drilled.
This procedure may take as many as three visits to complete, but can sometimes be done in just one visit. There is little discomfort or pain, and the tooth will last almost as long as it would have if it had stayed healthy.