When the inside of a tooth becomes infected, pressure begins to build. Teeth are hard and cannot expand. The increased pressure inside the tooth irritates the tooth's nerve, causing pain. This pain and infection can lead to biting and chewing issues, poor nutrition, and poor oral hygiene. Dental infections left untreated can lead to tooth loss (edentulism), and if they spread beyond the jaw may cause serious and sometimes life-threatening problems.
Whether a tooth will need root canal therapy depends on many factors, including the extent of the damage or decay to the original tooth, your age, and your overall health. For example, you may require root canal therapy if your tooth is severely damaged and treating it requires structural posts to be placed into the tooth. Root canal therapy may also be needed when preparing a tooth for a restoration, such as an implant or crown .
Root canal therapy consists of many steps. Your procedure may vary from the process described below based on your specific situation.
There are some issues to consider before deciding on root canal therapy. They may not apply to your specific situation.