Why Root canal treatment?
You could say that the purpose of root canal therapy is to create an end result where the tissues that surround a tooth's root will maintain a healthy status despite the fact that the tooth's nerve has undergone degenerative changes. Specifically, we mean that the tissues surrounding a tooth's root are not affected by bacterial infection and/or irritating substances leaking from those inner aspects of the tooth originally occupied by the tooth's nerve tissue.
Possibly in more scientific terms, our bodies, as a defense mechanism, will initiate an "inflammation reaction" when irritants (such as those that might seep out of a problematic tooth) have injured or destroyed body tissues.
So if we choose to incorporate the term "inflammation" into our description we would say, root canal treatment is the treatment of the inner aspects of a tooth (whose nerve has undergone degenerative changes) so to provide an environment where the tissues surrounding a tooth's root are free of, and will likely to continue to be free of, the presence of inflammation.
How does root canal treatment accomplish this goal?
In a nutshell, the process of root canal treatment first removes (as thoroughly as possible) bacteria, nerve tissue, the organic debris left over from the breakdown of nerve tissue, and bacterial toxins from within the inner aspects of a tooth (the area originally occupied by the tooth's nerve tissue). Each of these items can produce tissue irritants that can cause your body to activate an inflammation reaction.
Subsequently, once this space has been cleansed the second half of root canal treatment involves filling in and sealing up the interior of the tooth. This aspect of the treatment is an attempt to minimize the possibility that bacteria will be able to recolonize the inner aspects of the tooth or that tissue fluids can seep inside the tooth, become stagnant, and subsequently break down. (Either of these situations could produce a state of persistent inflammation in the tissues surrounding the tooth's root.) The seal also contains and encapsulates any debris that could not be fully removed during the cleaning aspect of the root canal treatment process so that it can't leak out and trigger an inflammation reaction.
Graphical Representation of Root Canal
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