How Dental Decay Travels
When a person does not perform good dental hygiene, the enamel gets damaged. This damage is called dental decay. The spaces where two teeth touch and the molars are at high risk of dental decay because they are difficult to reach and clean properly.
Once dental decay is in the enamel, it can progress through the dentin and into the tooth's root. When the decay reaches the tooth's root, the tooth is at risk of being lost. The decayed tooth can be painful. In some cases, an abscess may develop in the tooth's root, which may cause intense pain. Sometimes, the infection spreads into the gum tissue.
Dealing with Decay
A root canal is designed to remove the decayed parts of the tooth, including the pulp. This process is designed to prevent abscesses. After the root canal, the tooth is protected with a dental crown. Crowns may be made of gold, porcelain or a porcelain shell that is fused to gold.
Protecting what is left of the natural tooth also helps to protect the tooth's nerve. You can eat your usual foods after having a crown placed after a root canal. The success rate of root canal therapy is high, yet it will still be important to maintain good oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing around the crown and all of your other teeth.
Slide show: Root canal treatment