Endodontics is the speciality in dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. The pulp, which some people call the “nerve”, is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels and is responsible for tooth development. Root canal treatment is a safe and effective means of saving teeth, which would otherwise be lost.
If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. An abscess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. The symptoms of an abscess can range from a dull ache to severe pain, and the tooth may be tender when you bite. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.
Treatment may require one to three appointments, depending on the diagnosis, the number of roots and the complexity of the case. During the appointments, the clinician removes the injured or diseased pulp tissue. The root canals are cleaned, shaped and sealed to prevent recontamination.