Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with diseases of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is
found in the center of the tooth and in canals (called root canals) inside the root of each tooth. A
single tooth can have more than one root canal. Pulp includes connective tissue, nerves and
blood vessels. Pulp nourishes the tooth when it first emerges through the gum. Once the tooth
matures, the pulp can be removed without destroying the tooth. That’s because each tooth also
is nourished by a blood supply in the gums.
Removing the pulp is called endodontic treatment, but it is often referred to as root
canal treatment or root canal therapy.
Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons. The first is infection.
The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth when:
If bacteria infect the pulp, it will begin to die. After this, the bacteria can increase in number. The
bacteria and the substances they release will eventually pass out of the end of the root canal
through the small hole where the blood vessels and nerves enter.
This process continues as there is nothing to stop more bacteria passing down the root canal,
which causes the tissues around the end of the tooth to become red and swollen. This can cause
your tooth to become painful and, in extreme circumstances, your face may become swollen
(dental abscess). caused by the infection reduces the blood supply to the tooth. The reduced
blood supply also keeps the pulp from healing. Antibiotics can’t get to infections inside teeth.
When the pulp is inflamed but not infected, it may heal on its own. Your dentist may want to see
if this will happen before doing root canal treatment.
To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed.
In root canal treatment, the bacteria are removed from inside the root canal system, the root
canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown. In most cases, the inflamed tissue at
the end of the tooth will heal naturally.
The only alternative to a root canal prOCedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a
bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent
teeth from shifting.
Having root canal treatment on a tooth does not mean that the tooth will need to be pulled out
in a few years. Once a tooth is treated, it almost always will last the rest.
if you have an infection of the pulp, you may not feel any pain at first. But if it is not treatedghe
infection will cause pain and swelling. In some cases, an abscess will form.
Your tooth might need a root canal if:
It hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
-it is sensitive to heat
-It is sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds
-There is swelling near the tooth
-It is discolored (whether it hurts or not)
-It is broken
Treatment can be done in two or more visits. it depends on the difficulty of the situation. if you
have an infection, you will visit the dentist several times so that he or she can make sure that the
infection is gone.