Our teeth have a core of blood vessels and nerves at their center. This living tissue is called the pulp and is in a space called the root canal. The number of root canals depends on how far back the tooth is in your mouth. Front teeth often have just one root canal, while back teeth may have 3 or more. If your tooth is injured or has severe decay, the pulp can be damaged and the blood vessels may die. Your tooth “dies”, putting it at risk of getting infected because it is no longer protected by your immune system.
There are a number of ways that a tooth’s pulp can be damaged. These include:
- Gum disease and
Without treatment, unbearable pain and swelling can occur.
Root canal treatment involves cleaning and filling the entire root canal of a tooth. This is a conservative treatment option as opposed to extraction of the entire tooth. The suitability and success rate of the root canal procedure depends on the presenting condition of the remaining tooth structure and the extent of infection.
During the root canal procedure, the infected and damaged pulp of the tooth is removed. This process inevitably results in tooth structure loss and a high risk of fracture. A dental crown must be used to seal the entire tooth, thereby protecting it and restoring functionality. The dental crown also acts as a protective barrier against bacteria and debris, ensuring longevity of the root canal treated tooth.