If a cavity forms and is allowed to go untreated for too long, it can penetrate to the root pulp where an infection can occur
Root canal treatment may be necessary regardless of whether there is pain in a tooth.
A root canal on a tooth is necessary if there is damage to the nerves inside the roots due to trauma, deep cavities, irritation by large fillings or gum disease.
A portion of your tooth enamel is removed to give access to the root. The diseased root pulp is then removed.
The root is filled with a synthetic pulp material and the cavity is filled with an amalgam or a tooth colored filling material.
Root canal treatment is generally completed in one or two appointments. During the treatment, the tooth is opened to expose the nerves, the nerve is then removed and the space it occupied is cleaned and disinfected. A special filling is then used to replace the missing nerves in order to seal and prevent future infection of the roots.
Since a great deal of tooth needs to be removed in order to gain access to the nerves, a post and buildup is used to replace the missing structure after the root canal is finished. The tooth is then covered with a crown in order to prevent fracture.
A metal or plastic post may be placed in the root canal for structural support.