What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association dealing with treatment of the pulp and surrounding tissues of a tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is the root. The outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin. The inside channel, or root canal, contains the pulp, a soft tissue consisting of blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria introduced into the pulp because of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or a fracture can cause inflammation, pain and severe damage to the pulp.
To save the tooth and prevent further problems, the root canal is treated. After successful therapy, your general dentist will restore the tooth to normal function.
What causes endodontic problems?
Root canal treatment is performed when the pulp becomes inflammed or infected. Usually the cause for inflammation or infection is a deep cavity, trauma to the tooth or extensive restorative treatment. The signs of pulpal damage can include pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, color changes and swelling or soreness in the gums.
Once the pulp becomes inflammed or infected, a root canal or extraction is necessary to remove the affected tissue and restore the area to health.
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