Endodontics (from the Greek endo "inside"; and odons "tooth") is the treatment of problems associated with the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. Teeth are attached firmly to the jaws by their roots. Front teeth normally have one root, while the back teeth have more roots.

The core of each tooth contains a soft mass of tissue called the pulp. In a healthy tooth, the pulp contains nerves, arterioles, venules, lymphatic tissue, and fibrous tissue extending into the root(s) through the root canal(s).

Decay and/or injury can destroy the living pulp. There is a lack of adequate blood supply in a dead pulp and as a result, it becomes more prone to infection, leading to abscess and toothache. When the pulp becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is essential to save the tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal is one of the most common procedures in endodontics.

Root canal treatment (also known as root filling) involves removing the damaged or dead pulp and filling the resultant space left. The remaining tooth will then be repaired. A local anaesthetic is given and an opening is made through the top of the tooth down to the pulp. The dead pulp is then removed from the core of the tooth and root canals by means of narrow files. The cavity remaining on the top of the tooth is then filled and if necessary, a crown is placed on top of the tooth.

If root canal treatment and filling are not done, the affected tooth might have to be eventually removed. The infection might also spread beyond the tooth itself. Root canal treatments and fillings last for several years. However if infection recurs, re-treatment can be done.

If there is persistent inflammation of the root, it can be cured by performing a procedure called ‘apicectomy’. Apicectomy is a surgery which is carried out to remove part of the affected root, clean the area and put in a filling.

Conservative Dentistry



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