Endodontic therapy, or as it is more commonly known: root canal therapy, is a treatment performed on the pulp at the center of a tooth. Root canals are done as a way to help save a tooth and try to prevent the need for extraction.
When damage happens to the enamel of the tooth, decay starts to burrow into the tooth and can get to the nerves and pulp at the center. When this happens, the pulp can become irritated, inflamed and infected. This prevents the rest of the tooth from getting the nutrients it needs and can lead to the tooth dying.
During a root canal, the top of the tooth is removed in order to allow your dentist to thoroughly clean the infected pulp from the center of the tooth. The roots are then sealed and filled in order to block out future infection-causing bacteria. A dental crown is then required to seal off the tooth and restore its natural appearance.
Warning signs that you may have a root canal infection:
To prevent the need for a root canal, following a recommended oral hygiene routine is the best bet. In addition, bring small issues to your dentist’s attention. Filling a small cavity can stop the decay from spreading to the center of the tooth and causing infection.