Endodontics (also known as root canal treatment) is a specialty of dentistry, that deals with the area inside a tooth. Your teeth have a core of blood vessels and nerves at their centre.
This living tissue is called the pulp and is in a space called the root canal. The number of root canals in each tooth varies depending on how far back it is in your mouth. Front teeth often have one root canal,
while back teeth may have three or more. The pulp tissue does contain nerve fibers it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels and connective tissue. The pulp can become diseased or injured and
thus is unable to repair itself. The pulp then dies and endodontic treatment is required.
Endodontics removes blood vessels and nerves from a tooth which may be infected and/or damaged. It may also be required to remove a live nerve from a tooth (elective root canal theatment).
A root canal infection can be caused by several things including decay, injury and possibly also gum disease. Root canal therapy may be the only way to repair your tooth if it has been badly damaged by infection.
Endodontist will usually recommend root canal treatment to:
• open up the pulp chamber
• clean out the infected remains of the pulp
• fill the pulp chamber to prevent the infection returning
Sometimes a live tooth may have insufficient tooth substance to retain a crown so the tooth may have to have root canal treatment and be restored with a post-retained crown.