Endodontics is more commonly known as root canal treatment and is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease or injury to the dental pulp.
The most frequent causes of injury to the pulp are extensive decay, deep fillings, trauma (such as a blow to the tooth), cracks and gum disease. When a pulp is left exposed to bacteria, infection can occur and if left untreated, can build up at the tip of the root, forming an abscess. This often causes pain and swelling and can lead to the destruction of the bone supporting the tooth. In these cases we remove the nerve of the tooth and the inside of the roots is also cleaned and then finally sealed. Your tooth will be anaesthetised, so treatment will be almost painless. This provides an alternative to extracting the tooth.
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected through tooth decay or damaged by an injury to your mouth. This infection may spread through the root canal system and could eventually lead to an abscess, causing a great deal of discomfort. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits.