Understanding the Structure of a Tooth
Before understanding how a root canal is performed, it’s necessary to understand the anatomy of a tooth. Every tooth has a soft inner portion, called the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is located inside of the root canal, and holds the nerves of the tooth. While the nerves are responsible for sensitivity to heat or pressure, the nerve is actually superfluous once the tooth emerges above the gums, and can be safely removed.
When Root Canals Become Necessary
When a tooth’s pulp chamber experiences damage or trauma, it can disintegrate and create a cavity for bacteria to multiply. This can be dangerous, as if the infection spreads it could cause an abscessed tooth or an infection that can begin to creep into the jaw. Root canal infections could lead to bone less, drainage complications, and swelling of the face and neck. By performing a root canal, your dentist is preventing possible permanent damage by nipping the infection in the bud.