Inside each tooth is the pulp that extends from the center of the tooth down the root in a canal out the bottom of the tooth the Jaw. The pulp is made up of residual cells that formed the tooth blood vessel and nerves that provide nutrients and sensory information from the tooth to you brain.
Sometimes due to injury like blunt trauma or disease like a deep cavity the pulp can become injured or die.. This can cause infection, pain, dental abscesses, tooth discoloration or other complications.
Before endodontic treatments, or root canal therapy, if your tooth had a damaged nerve, your dentist would extract your tooth. However, root canal therapy allows you to keep your tooth and saves you the expense and inconvenience of a dental implant if the tooth were extracted. The dead pulp is removed, the canal is filled and sealed, and your dentist finishes the restoration filling or a crown.
This type of restorative dentistry is often the type that inspires fear and anxiety. Of course, there was a time when severe pain was associated with this treatment, but modern root canal treatments involve very little discomfort. Generally, it's much better on your total oral health and your pocketbook to repair and restore your teeth than replace them, so if you are still concerned about discomfort, ask Dr. Paul McGriff about oral sedation to help with your anxiety during this treatment.