Fixing problems deep inside the tooth
Also known as an 'endodontic' procedure
(from the Greek words 'endo' meaning "inside" and 'odont' meaning "tooth")
A tooth has three basic layers:
There's the outer layer made of enamel, which is really tough.
Then there's a middle layer of Dentine, a hard dense bony tissue which forms the bulk of a tooth.
And in the centre of the tooth is a soft squidgy substance known as pulp.
(No, we're not dumbing it down, it really is called 'pulp') The pulp is made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts, its connected to the rest of your body with blood vessels and nerves.
The mouth is full of bacteria, it's quite harmless most of the time. But if bacteria manages to get into the tooth pulp problems begin.
All it takes is the tiniest of gaps for bacteria to get in. Once in there the bacteria quickly multiplies, causing pressure to build up on the nerves. Infection inside the tooth can be very painful, but if the infection follows the blood vessels and manages to get under the tooth causing an abscess, it can be extreemly painful.
Clean and remove the decay.
Clean out all the infection.
Cap and seal the tooth.
Image credit: Wikipedia.