Teeth have living tissue. What? Yes, there are living nerves, blood vessels and cells inside a tooth. When these tissues are injured from a deep cavity or trauma, they can begin to die. Many times, this leads to pain in the tooth with hot, cold, biting or pressure.
Fortunately, that pain can often be eliminated with root canal treatment. The goals of root canal treatment are to 1) remove the dying or dead nerve tissue 2) to disinfect the space where the nerve tissue was and 3) prevent bacterial growth inside the tooth. When all of these are achieved, root canal therapy is highly successful.
After the tooth is thoroughly numbed, the nerve of the tooth is accessed and cleaned out. Once all the roots of the tooth are located and cleaned out, the internal surfaces of the tooth are disinfected to remove any bacteria that may still remain. The inside of the tooth is filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha that prevents bacteria from growing. The tooth is then sealed on the top with a permanent filling or crown.
Saving your tooth is important in many cases as adjacent teeth can shift and your bite collapse when a tooth is pulled. People that are missing teeth often complain of a restricted diet, decreased self esteem and are prone to breaking other teeth. Dr. Jordan believes that when a tooth is sound and there is enough tooth remaining, that root canal treatment is a great option.