If a cavity is left untreated, it will grow and eventually reach the middle of the tooth, infecting the inside of the pulp chamber which contains blood vessels, connective tissue and nerve endings.
This can result in severe and constant pain. In such cases there are only 2 options for the tooth; either root canal treatment (endodontics) or extraction. Endodontic treatment is just like a filling, but then in the root of the tooth. The dentist simply removes the infected tissues from the roots, cleans the chamber and fills this with an artificial rubbery material (guttapercha) before being sealed.
Although root canal treatment is often feared, it usually is a very straight forward procedure and, when diagnosed early enough, should be no different for a patient than getting a normal filling.
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