A tooth’s structure is composed of three layers; the outermost is the enamel, followed by the dentin, and at the core lies the bundle of nerves and blood vessels called the pulp. Endodontics is the dental specialty focused on diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the dental pulp.
The Greek word “Endodontics” literally means “inside the tooth,” and relates to the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves, and arterioles. Endodontists receive additional dental training after completing dental school to enable them to perform both complex and simple procedures, including root canal therapy.
Although there are several endodontic procedures, by far the most common is the dreaded root canal. Root canals are necessary when bacteria penetrate the enamel and dentin through a cavity, causing an infection at the dental pulp. When this occurs, the pulp needs to be removed to prevent the infection from spreading and harming the tooth so severely that it needs to be extracted. Root canals may cause discomfort, but it is ultimately much less than the pain triggered by the infection itself.
Historically, a tooth with a diseased nerve would be removed immediately, but endodontists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases. Generally, extracting the inner tooth structures, then sealing the resulting gap with a crown restores health and functionality to damaged teeth. Signs and symptoms of endodontic problems include:
Endodontic treatment (or root canal therapy) is performed to save the natural tooth. In spite of the many advanced restorations available, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for healthy, natural teeth.
With the skilled experts at Beechnut Dental Care, you do not need to fear. We have the advanced dental technology and experience to make your next procedure effective and comfortable. Contact us today to learn more!