For all the talk about root canals, here are the facts: They can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges; and they're not nearly as painful as urban legend has it.
At the center of your tooth is the pulp chamber. Infection or inflammation of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or other dental procedures. You'll know something is wrong either because you can see a visible injury or swelling of the gums near the tooth, or you'll experience moderate to severe pain. If the tooth pain lasts for more then 10 seconds or wakes you up at night, or pain happens spontaneously you will most likely need a root canal.