A root canal is a dental procedure that all of us are most likely familiar with. And although many aren't aware of this, root canals have been around for many years. The reason for having a root canal, is that it is one of the major procedures that saves the tooth. This is important because it allows you to keep your natural teeth, and have them return back to health, once again.
The way in which root canals save a dying tooth is by removing the dead or dying pulp. The pulp exists inside of the tooth and is very soft. If not taken care of, it can spread to form a major cavity and cause inflammation. The tissue in the pulp is kept alive by the blood vessels that come from the tip of the root and travel along the root canal into the tooth.
Decay is the main reason for pulp dying. Once the decay has reached the pulp, it will keep decaying until the tooth is removed or a root canal is performed. Once it dies, the toxins from the decay will be released into the root tip and make its way into the jawbone. If not taken care of properly, the jawbone can become infected. When the jawbone becomes infected, you could risk losing pieces of your jaw, requiring bone grafting.
This is why your dentist will recommend preforming a root canal. During the procedure, they will numb the area then drill a hole into the tooth. Using various tools and equipment, they will go down inside of the tooth and scrape away the dead pulp. This is a very effective procedure and can be time consuming depending on the case. Most often, a root canal can take several hours. Even though it may take a long time - it is more than worth it to have this procedure done, because it saves your tooth from being extracted.