Root Canal Therapy
If a cavity goes untreated, the infection can spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. The result can be symptomatic (painful) or asymptomatic (little to no discomfort). A traumatic injury or fracture to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems. A periapical x-ray or CBCT 3-D scan is necessary to diagnose if root canal therapy is indicated. In some cases, an endodontist (root canal specialist) will be consulted.
A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain, sensitivity, pus, or bumps on the gums that bleed or pus. Root canal therapy involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. This can be done with a filling, crown, or post and core crown pending how much healthy tooth structure remains.