Root canal treatment may be required when tooth decay progresses to the nerve of your tooth or the nerve becomes exposed to the external environment in anyway.
During this procedure, all of the bacteria inside your tooth will be removed and sealed so no more bacteria can re-enter. The tooth will effectively be “dead” after treatment but can survive and function in the mouth for many years. It is often recommended that after a root canal, you have a crown fabricated for the tooth to ensure that it is well sealed.
Once the nerve is exposed to bacteria or the external environment, your options are essentially a root canal or complete removal. Patients often decide to have a root canal performed to avoid removing the tooth all together.
Your dentist will explain the benefits and alternative options prior to root canal treatment.