About Your Tooth
Your tooth consists of two main parts: the crown, which is that part of the tooth above the gum and visible in your mouth; and the root or roots, which is that part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a channel or canal that runs the length of the tooth. This channel is the root canal and contains the dental pulp (a soft tissue consisting of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue components), some refer to this tissue as the “nerve” of the tooth. The pulp may be irreversibly damaged by bacteria and its resulting decay, very deep restorations, fractures, trauma, or periodontal disease.
In order to preserve a tooth in which damage has occurred, it is necessary to remove the diseased pulp tissue. This procedure is known as endodontic therapy. Since endodontic therapy is concerned with removing only the dental pulp tissue from the root canal, the root will continue to function normally because the supporting tissues remain intact. Removal of the diseased and injured pulp tissue is advisable to alleviate pain, prevent it from becoming infected, or potentially acting as an irritant to the tissues surrounding the tooth.