Root canal treatment usually involves the removal of the tooth’s pulp, a small thread like tissue that was important for tooth development. Once the nerve is removed, it is replaced with materials that seal off the root canal from its supporting structures. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were often extracted. Today, even if the pulp of one of your teeth becomes injured or infected, it often can be saved through root canal treatment. Endodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the treatment of diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue that contains the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue of a tooth.
When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it loses its vitality. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity or a traumatic injury to the tooth. Bacteria and its products can leak into the pulp, eventually causing it to lose vitality. If not treated with a root canal, an abscess can form at the end of the root , resulting in pain and swelling.