Root canal therapy treats disorders of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. It used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. However, in 95% of these cases today, this is no longer true.
If you experience symptoms ranging from occasional sensitivity to hot and cold foods, to constant throbbing or a dull ache, to pain when you chew, you may have an internally damaged tooth. Your dentist may be able to save your unhealthy tooth. Root canal therapy may be the best treatment for you. The sooner you get treatment the better: Your risk of losing the damaged tooth is decreased, your pain can be relieved, and your dentist may prevent infection from spreading further.
The goal of root canal therapy is to improve the health of your damaged tooth. During treatment, the pulp is removed from your root canals through a small opening in the crown. Then the canals are sealed with special materials to prevent bacteria from reaching your bone. Your dentist then restores the outside of your tooth so it will function properly and have a healthy appearance. After root canal therapy, your tooth continues to be nourished by your surrounding gums and bone.