Once bacteria or decay reaches a tooth’s nerve, filling the tooth is no longer an option. At this point, the bacteria has invaded the living part of the tooth – the part that has blood supply. There, bacteria has all the food source and protection it needs to stay inside the tooth. This can often result in pain as well as poor oral health. The only way to remove bacteria is to either remove the tooth or to remove the tissue inside the tooth. Sometimes, the pain associated with nerve decay can be tremendous. A root canal procedure can instantly relieve you of considerable pain. During a root canal procedure, the dentist will remove dead or dying tissue inside the tooth’s root and replace it with a sealer made of biologically friendly material. This seals and protects the remaining tooth from any future bacterial invasion. Teeth that have had root canal treatment are more brittle than untreated teeth. Without the blood supply, they can become dry and prone to fracture. For this reason, many teeth that have been treated with a root canal have a crown
placed to cover and protect them.