Endodontic dentistry or Endodontics is a dental specialty that deals in the treatment of the tooth enamel and nerve pulp (living tissue inside of the tooth).
Endodontic treatment is required to save a tooth when the dental pulp becomes diseased or has been injured. Damage and decay in an untreated tooth will spread causing the tooth's pulp tissue to die, resulting in the loss of the tooth.
Several endodontic procedures are available to relieve pain caused by infection of the pulp and inflammation.
Common endodontic procedures:
- Root canal therapy - Root canal therapy is one of the most common endodontic procedures and carried out when inflammation and/or infection and/or an abscess below the tooth causes pain and threatens the health of the tooth. A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth allowing access to the infected pulp. The pulp is then removed leaving and empty root canal which is cleaned and sealed.
- Endodontic retreatment - Endodontic retreatment is a procedure to correct a failed root canal if the tooth fails to heal or the pain continues. Sometimes a root canal procedure can fail for various reasons, such as complicated canals missed during the original procedure, delayed crown placement, saliva contamination, and other unknown reasons.
- Cracked tooth restoration and traumatic dental root injury - Damaged teeth, where the dental pulp has been affected, may be saved based on location of the crack, the age of the patient, and the time lapsed since the damage occurred.
- Internal tooth bleaching - Internal tooth bleaching can be used to whiten a discolored tooth after endodontic treatment. A damaged tooth can become blood stained from the inside. Peroxide gel is used to clean the root canal and whiten the tooth from the inside.
- Apicoectomy - Root end surgery is an option to treat infection and inflammation after the failure of both root canal treatment and subsequent endodontic retreatment. The root tip and the infected tissue are removed during an apicoectomy.