Your natural tooth consists of 3 layers – the enamel, the dentine and the pulp. The most common causes of pulp death are:
The pulp consists of nerves and blood vessels and has an inherent ability to repair itself. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it undergoes a condition known as pulp death.
All these situations allow bacteria and their products to enter the pulp. If the injured or diseased pulp is not removed, the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth can become infected, resulting in pain and swelling. Bacteria toxins can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted.
Root canal treatments are quite common. In the United States alone, they save about 24 million teeth each year.
Root canal therapy can be performed in single or multiple visits.
Since the nerve and blood supply to the tooth has been taken away, the tooth may become brittle over time, resulting in a cracked tooth. In order to prevent this, root canal treated teeth are routinely protected with a crown.