Root Canal Treatment
Endodontics (root canal treatment) is the branch of dentistry concerned with treating diseases of the pulp tissue of the tooth. The pulp is a living tissue that lies within the central core of the tooth and its root (inside small channels called root canals). The pulp is essential for tooth development and it also contains nerve tissue which provides sensation, informing us when disease is present.
The pulp has a defensive action against bacterial infection. Certain events can produce pulp disease, these include: dental decay, tooth fracture, deep fillings or trauma and these can cause inflammation. If the inflammation is severe it will be accompanied by intense pain, this in turn damages the pulp and it often dies thereafter. The tooth will then become prone to infection which will spread into the root canal of the tooth. This can lead to further episodes of pain and result in bone loss around the root tips of the tooth.
Endodontic treatment aims to prevent and treat infection of the pulp. Root canal treatment involves the careful removal of the infected tissue from the canals, the cleaned space is then filled with a special filling material to help prevent re-infection. This enables the tooth to be retained in the mouth. If root canal treatment is not carried out the tooth would need to be extracted.