Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. The pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed. The resulting space is filled with medicated, dental materials, which restores the tooth to its full function.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
Decay has reached the tooth pulp
Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
Injury or trauma to the tooth
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
An abscess (or a pimple) on the gums
Sensitivity to hot and cold
Swelling and/or tenderness
Sometimes no symptoms are present
Root canal treatment is highly successful and can last a lifetime, although, on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.