Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the structures found inside the teeth including the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves and arterioles. Endodontists pursue additional dental training after completing dental school to allow them to perform complex procedures, including root canal therapy. In the past, a tooth with diseased nerves would need to be removed, but endodontists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases.

Indicators for endodontic treatment:

  • Inflammation and tenderness in the gums
  • Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold foods
  • Tenderness when chewing and biting
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes
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Root Canal Therapy

When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, root canal therapy is required to save the tooth. The living tissue inside the tooth known as pulp, nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with medicated dental materials which restore the tooth to its full function. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the only solution, not realizing that extracting a tooth will ultimately cause more problems for adjacent teeth.

Signs that you may need root canal therapy:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Swelling and/or tenderness
  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present

Root canal therapy is used when:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
  • Injury or trauma has damaged the tooth
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