A root canal is something that we don't mind as long as it is happening to someone else. Root canal therapy has existed for centuries and actually was first performed in ancient civilizations - most often only the nobility and very wealthy were treated.
There is the old tale about the tooth becoming "dead" once the nerve is removed. This is simply not true. The blood supply in the tissues that support the tooth in the jaw give all the nourishment the tooth requires. Biting pressure remains normal although there is no response to hot, cold or sweets. There is a 95% + chance that you'll retain a tooth that has had root canal therapy. Some indications for a root canal are:
When the pulp or "nerve center" of a tooth becomes unhealthy, two alternative treatments are available: extraction or root canal therapy. Root canal therapy permits the tooth to be retained and restores its health so that it can function normally and look natural.
In a tooth where there the pulp is exposed or unhealthy, an opening is made through the top of the tooth into the root canal system.
The length of the root canal is measured, and then the pulp is carefully removed from the canal using delicate instruments. The canal is cleaned and shaped to prepare it for filling.
The canal is dried with absorbent paper points
Gutta percha (a natural rubber) points coated in endodontic cement are used to completely seal the root canal system.
The final step is to restore the tooth. The type of restoration varies from case to case.