Within each tooth lies a hollow chamber that is filled with dental pulp, which is comprised of the nerves and blood vessels that nourish your tooth and keep it strong and healthy.
Sometimes these chambers and the interconnecting “canals” that run through them become infected and lose the ability to strengthen the tooth and keep it healthy. When this happens, it becomes necessary to remove the infected dental pulp in order to protect the tooth from cracking and other damage.
This procedure is commonly called root canal therapy, and falls under the dental specialty endodontics.
The first signs of a damaged, infected tooth root can be extraordinary pain and a crack that appears in the tooth. Your dentist in Cambridge, MA can perform a thorough examination including dental x-rays in order to determine if the root of your tooth is infected and decide upon the correct treatment plan to restore the function and appearance of your tooth. If root canal therapy is called for, then your dentist will drill into the root canal chambers within the tooth and remove the infected dental pulp and surrounding damaged nerve tissues. The area is then completely disinfected and the hollow chamber filled with an inert material such as gutta percha which will protect the space from further microbial invasion.
Once root canal therapy has been performed, the tooth is then essentially a dead tooth. In most cases your dentist will then place a dental crown over the tooth in order to strengthen it and protect the tooth from potential cracks that could result from chewing hard foods. Root canal therapy with a dental crown not only halts the progress of disease and infection within the tooth, but also protects the tooth from any further damage and restores its full function and beautiful appearance.