Endodontics involves treatment of the pulp tissue of the tooth — the soft tissue at the centre of each tooth. Generally, we are referring to the procedure known as root canal treatment. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves and various other tissues. If the pulp becomes infected or contaminated by decay, the tooth becomes painful and root canal treatment is usually required.
Symptoms of Pulp Damage
The most obvious sign is that the tooth really hurts. It is not uncommon for the pain to be throbbing in nature. The gum nearby may also be swollen while cold or hot drinks cause severe pain for an extended period of time. Often, the pain is bad enough to wake a person from their sleep. A discoloured tooth can be a sign of possible pulp damage.
What’s Involved in Root Canal Therapy?
To treat it, the infected or diseased pulp is removed along with any decayed sections of the tooth. We clean and shape the empty root canal where the pulp once was. The root canal is then treated with an antibacterial irrigant to destroy any remaining bacteria. Finally, we fill the root canal with a material called gutta percha and then restore the tooth. If the decay has been particularly extensive, a crown may need to be fitted.
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