Endodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with treatment and prevention of pulpal disease. A common form of endodontic treatment is known as Root Canal Therapy, whichis aimed at removing infection, eliminating pain and restoring a tooth to function.
There are two basic parts to a tooth, the crown and the roots. The crown is mainly above your gum, while the roots are below the gum and attach your tooth to your jawbone. Pulp, which exists inside the crown and the root, is made of soft tissue and keeps your tooth nourished.
Dental pulp – is in the centre of the tooth. Part of the dental pulp is inside the crown, and part of it is inside the root, in the root canal. The dental pulp consists of a network of nerves and blood vessels senses temperature and pressure applied to the tooth,
Diseased Dental Pulp
If the dental pulp cannot repair itself (when it is injured or diseased) it dies. Pulp death can occur as a result of a deep cavity or a cracked tooth. Bacteria get in, either through a crack, a cavity or a loose filling, and eventually destroy the pulp. When bacteria penetrate through the root openings the bone will become infected. An infection in the bone may cause a swelling and the tooth may become loose.
The patient with a pulp injury will find his tooth is very sensitive to high and low temperatures, he may feel pain when chewing, and there may be a continuous throbbing pain.
Saving the tooth
Endodontic therapy (root canal therapy) saves the tooth and prevents further infection and pain.
Without treatment the infection may spread and the tooth will eventually loosen and may require extraction. Some patients may prefer to have the tooth pulled out, especially if it hurts a lot. Endodontic treatment will enable you to save the tooth and eliminate the pain, avoiding the problem of losing a tooth.
The dentist will take out the diseased pulp. The root canal (the area where the pulp was) will be The pulp has a network of nerves and blood vessels anaesthetic. Sometimes, the treatment may require more than one visit, but a temporary restoration would be placed in the meantime. This means that you are not left with a hole in the tooth.
A tooth that has the root canal treatment is more fragile than a normal tooth. Quite often, a crown is recommended to help protect the tooth from fracturing.