When preparing for a root canal treatment, most people will have many questions, and sometimes they can be a little nervous about what to expect. The more you know and understand about a root canal, the less stressful the process can be. The older perception of root canals is nothing like what the process actually is nowadays.
After x-raying and examining the tooth, your dentist will assess if a root canal is necessary. Endodontic treatment is required when the soft tissue inside the root canal, called the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed. The cause of the infection can stem from any number of occurrences such as a crack or chip in the tooth, repeated dental procedures in the same tooth or deep decay/cavity. If treatment is required, they will recommend you to an endodontist, or root canal specialist, if they are not able to do it themselves.
The goal of the procedure is to remove the infected pulp but still save the tooth by making an opening in the crown of the tooth. Once the inflamed pulp has been sufficiently removed, a biocompatible rubber-like material is used to fill in the root canals and seal them. A temporary filling is placed on the top of the tooth until you can get your crown installed on a follow-up visit.
Even with the pulp removed, the tooth can still survive. Once the crown is in place, it will feel and act like a normal tooth. Root canal treatments are advantageous to removal because it can also help maintain the future health of your mouth. A removed tooth can cause the other teeth to take more damage from chewing or start to spread. A root canal treatment is a good investment in that regard.