Root Canal Therapy is used to save an infected or damaged tooth to avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth causing the pulp to become infected. Regular cleanings and checkups help detect and prevent problems early on. Trauma can also cause deep damage to the nerve of a tooth. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected.
Symptoms of infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, and you are unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment is to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually highly recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy to prevent future fracture.