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Endodontics is a sub-specialty of dentistry, that deals
with the tooth pulp or dentine complex. The most common
procedure done in endodontics is root-canal therapy. The
pulp (containing nerves, blood and lymph vessels) can become
diseased or injured and thus is unable to repair itself.
The pulp then dies and Endodontic treatment is required.
Endodontic treatment is the removal of diseased pulp tissue.
The body's defence system can then repair the damage created
by disease. Usually, this will require 2-3 visits to your
The dentist will use a local anaesthetic to make the procedure
pain-free. A rubber dam isolates the tooth and provides
a clean environment. An opening is made in the top of the
tooth then the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned
and shaped for filling and sealing. Between visits, the
opening is temporarily filled and removed during the next
visit for the next step in the treatment.
The tooth will need to be restored, usually by a new crown.
If required, a support will be added.
Dentists specializing in this field are called endodontists
and complete an additional 2-3 years of training following
In the image shown below, if the tooth is treated at stage
#1 only a small filling will be required. If decay reaches
stage #3, root canal therapy will be required.
The aim of treatment is to remove infection (e.g. bacteria)
from inside the tooth. If left, the infection would leak
out of the tooth's root ends and make the surrounding bone
ill and painful.