Root canal therapy is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp - the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Teeth with abscessed, or infected, nerves were once extracted. But now, in 95% of these cases of pulpal infection, the natural tooth can be saved through modern endodontic procedures. A common misconception is that a root canal is a painful procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal pain.
Without treatment, the infection of the dental pulp will spread to the bone around the tooth, making it not able to hold the tooth in place.
Treatment begins with the initial access through the crown of the tooth to the pulpal tissue. Once the affected tissue is exposed, the affected area is removed. The area surrounding and containing the pulpal tissue is carefully cleaned, enlarged and shaped to provide a clean, bondable surface for filling with a permanent filler (called gutta percha) to prohibit any further infection and discomfort. After the tooth is filled and sealed, the next step recommended is a Build-up and Crown to protect the tooth.