Located in the centre core (or canal) of each tooth is living tissue (pulp tissue) consisting of nerves, blood vessels, and cellular components. If a tooth were a carrot, the pulp would occupy the central core of the vegetable. This pulp tissue is what provides the tooth with the ability to feel sensations such as temperature. It also provides internal moisture to keep the tooth resilient.
The main goal of root canal therapy is to remove any diseased pulp tissue, which will in turn reduce and eliminate existing discomfort. To gain access into the inner pulp chamber and begin treatment, your dentist will create a small hole in the chewing surface of the tooth. They will then remove the pulp tissue, and the tooth’s entire inner core, all the way down to the end of the root, is cleaned and disinfected. The empty canal is filled with a material that seals the tooth from bacteria, and a filling is placed to restore the opening made in the tooth. After root canal therapy, the tooth becomes more brittle and prone to breakage, so it is common for a crown to be recommended following a root canal, as a crown will give the tooth strength and protection. Root canals are part of routine dental practice, so you can relax and feel safe.