Every single tooth has a living soft tissue inside an enclosed chamber that is called “Nerve”. This is the tissue that starts forming the tooth when the fetus is created in the womb and gets entrapped inside the tooth after it is created.
This soft tissue has some vein, artery and nerve components in it and is the responsible tissue for hot and cold sensations, vitality, hydration and growth of the tooth.
As this tissue is very soft and bleeding and looks like an orange pulp, it is named “Dental Pulp”. Treatments performed on this tissue are called Root Canal Therapy (RCT) or Endodontic treatment
Removing the nerve of a tooth by RCT or Endodontic Therapy is neither a cheap nor an easy treatment, but if performed by an experienced dentist the success rate can be more than 90%.
After removing the nerve with fine hair-thin files, cleaning and disinfecting the nerve canal, it would be filled with a resin filling called Gutta-percha that is taken from a South American tree with the same name.
Even a baby tooth has similar anatomy to adult teeth and has got a nerve. Sometimes this nerve is damaged as a result of trauma, decay, leaking old filling, fractures, sports accidents…In these cases, the injured nerve will need treatment and it could be called a Pulpotomy, meaning “removal of pulp”, without having that space filled with filling material, as these bay teeth are not supposed to last too long in our mouth.
So as you see there are different levels of pulp damage and respectively, different stages of pulp therapy.
Shallow pulpotomy, standard pulpotomy, pulpectomy and standard Root canal therapy are some of them.
If a tooth with an injured nerve does not receive a proper root canal treatment, discolouration, infection, pain, abscess and swelling are followed and the patient would lose that tooth sooner or later due to these unwanted responses from their body.
Patients who can not accept a root canal treatment when recommended, due to expenses, medical complications, multiple appointments sometimes needed or whatever other reasons, are usually recommended to have the tooth out to avoid pain and future problems.