Root canal therapy refers to the process by which a dentist treats the inner aspects of a tooth, specifically that area inside a tooth that is occupied by its
"pulp tissue" also referred to as the
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, Root Canal Therapy is the only way to save the tooth. A tooth can become infected as a result of deep decay, a cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth. The only alternative to Root Canal Therapy is an Extraction.
During Root Canal Therapy, the unhealthy nerve is removed through a small opening and medication is placed within to treat the bacterial infection. After the infection is treated, a filling is placed in the roots where the unhealthy nerve was.
A crown is placed over the treated tooth in order to protect it, and if the tooth lacks sufficient tooth structure to hold the core build-up, a post may be placed inside. Any areas of infection around the roots will begin to heal.