A root canal is used to save teeth that would otherwise need to be removed. It is needed when the pulp in the tooth becomes infected, this can be caused as a result of decay, cracks, or injuries.
The pulp is the central part of the tooth that supplies the blood and nerve flow, when bacteria are able to penetrate the pulp, an infection results. This can cause acute throbbing pain that can keep you awake at night and stop you getting through your day. Alternatively, a chronic infection often displays no painful characteristics and is often only identified by an X-ray.
As the bacteria exit the top of the tooth, they can create a lesion, this is bone being lost from around the root of the tooth, if left untreated, the infection will only grow, and can result in an abscess developing on the gum, it may result in the loss of the tooth.
Root canal treatment involves removing the pulp from the tooth and replacing it with a filling, it requires substantial skill, technical ability and patience. When done correctly, there is around a 90% success rate.
Preserving your natural teeth is the one most important steps in oral health, root canal treatment allows you to keep your own natural tooth in instances when it would otherwise have to be removed.