Endodontics (Root Canals)

Endodontics is the area of dentistry dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp (center of a tooth made up of living connective tissue). Endodontic therapy (root canal) is a treatment technique that will save your diseased or injured teeth.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Sometimes there is no pain but an abscess might be discovered on a routine x-ray. Typically however, a severely decayed tooth or a tooth with a large filling will begin to ache. The pain might be intermittent at first but over time progress to a constant dull throbbing pain. Sometimes it can grow to a severe ache that might be felt on all your teeth on the affected side.

The pulp is the soft tissue that is located inside the tooth structure. It contains nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph tissue. It is contained in the canals located in thin tube-like spaces in the roots and in the pulp chamber located within the crown of the tooth.

When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it becomes infected. Left untreated, the pulp will die and become necrotic. Pus can build up at the root tip, forming an abscess that can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth. Endodontic treatment is the removal of the diseased pulp tissue, which will enable your body’s defense system to repair the damage caused by the infection.

Following completion of the root canal procedure your tooth will need to be restored. Due to the large amount of tooth structure usually lost from decay and old fillings the preferred restoration is a crown. A post may be placed into the root to give additional structural support.

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