When the tissue inside of your tooth becomes inflamed or diseased it is necessary to have a root canal treatment. Inflammation can be caused by a cracked or broken tooth or a deep cavity and can manifest itself to the patient through symptoms such as pain while chewing or under pressure, and lingering sensitivity to cold or heat. The infected pulp (nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue) must be removed from the tooth, and the canals cleaned out and sealed. If the infected tissue is not removed by your dentist, not only can it cause severe pain and swelling, but it can also lead to the loss of the tooth.
Most root canal procedures can be done painlessly in one to three appointments. After the procedure your tooth will need a permanent filling and a crown to restore the tooth. With continued care and regular visits to your dentist, a root canaled tooth can last a lifetime.