What is Endodontics?
Endodontics encompasses the study and practice of the basic and clinical sciences involving the biology of the normal dental pulp. It also includes the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the dental pulp along with associated periradicular conditions.
When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected because of either deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth, an endodontic treatment has to be performed. If left untreated, pulp inflammation can result in abscess.
To understand this procedure, it helps to know about the anatomy of the tooth. A soft tissue known as the pulp is found under the white enamel and a hard layer that is our dentin. It contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that help in the root growth of your tooth during development. The pulp becomes unnecessary once the tooth is fully developed as the tooth is nourished by the surrounding tissue. During a root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, and then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is filled for protection and then crowned. After restoration, the tooth will continue to function normally.
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had a root canal treatment can last as long as natural teeth; often for a complete lifetime.