Root canal therapy

When a tooth becomes infected with decay and is not treated, the decay can cause severe damage to the layers of the tooth.  In the beginning stages of decay a tooth can be filled to fix the problem area.  When the infection is left to continue damage, the decay will travel to the pulp or the "alive" part of the tooth. The decay will travel through the pulp and into the bone that supports the tooth. At this point the decay will cause a bigger infection within the bone known as an abscess. When decay reaches the pulp or reaches the bone a root canal must be performed to save the tooth. Some teeth however, have been left to decay for to long and even with a root canal the tooth can not be saved due to lack of structure.  Root canal therapy replaces the infected pulp with dental material to keep the tooth viable within the mouth.  After the replacement of the pulp the tooth is filled to build the structure once again.  The most important factor after receiving a root canal, is to have a crown placed on the tooth, this protects the tooth from breaking.  With the placement of both the root canal and crown a tooth can remain viable for years to come.