Dental caries, generally known as tooth decay, is a very common dental condition. It occurs when the bacteria present in plaque reacts with sugar over time resulting in cavities.
Cavities are treated by means of tooth restoration (fillings). This involves removing the soft, decayed part of the affected tooth and adapting, in its place, a hard wearing material to restore the functionality of the tooth.
If, however, the cavity extends into, and exposes, the nerve of the tooth (which may or may not cause toothache) a root canal treatment will be required.
Root canal treatment is a procedure by which the nerve is removed from a tooth. The inside of the tooth is subsequently cleaned and filled and thereafter a restoration, or a dental crown, will be placed to seal the newly root canal treated tooth and reintroduce functionality to the bite.
If deemed unrestorable your dentist will recommend extraction of a tooth.