Decay is the number one cause of nerve damage. When the decay progresses to the pulp chamber of the tooth, the patient will usually feel sensitivity to hot or cold. The second most common cause is tooth fracture, caused by clenching or grinding your teeth, eating hard foods or chewing ice. Other factors such as trauma to the teeth or face may also result in a tooth requiring root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment is a procedure performed to preserve the infected or irreversibly inflamed tooth. This procedure involves gently removing the damaged or infected pulp, treating any infection and filling the empty canals with a special filling material to seal them off.
The way root canal therapy is performed today is vastly different than the way it was years ago. The level for quality care and success has dramatically increased. It is a thing of the past to do root canals in five to six appointments or by "touch or feel" because the dentist could not see the pulp chambers. Root canals can be done painlessly, faster, and more accurately due to the new technology available today.