What is Endodontic treatment
Endodontology (root canal treatment) is the study and expertise related to the inside of the tooth. (Endo = Inside, Odont = Tooth) This includes the living, sensitive pulp inside the tooth and the hard and soft tissues relating to it. The study includes the preservation and care of healthy tissues and the diagnosis and treatment of diseased tissues.
Why might you need Endodontic treatment
The pulp of a tooth is a very sensitive organ that can be subjected to irritating factors like undue biting forces, bacteria from dental decay or fracture of the tooth structure.
These lead to indirect effects or direct exposure of the very sensitive nerves and blood vessels of the pulp, inflammation, infection and abscess formation. All of these will result in varying degrees of pain, sometimes of a very severe nature.
In the early stages of irritation and inflammation the tooth is only sensitive to heat and/or cold and the pulp can be saved by relatively uncomplicated treatment. Once severe inflammation or infection sets in the only treatment is to remove the diseased tissue with small, delicate files, at the same time cleaning and shaping the root canal system, flushing out the debris and applying specialised medicaments to kill the bacteria. After this is accomplished the canal must be perfectly sealed to prevent recurrence of bacterial invasion. It is important that the tooth be restored with a filling, inlay or crown as soon as possible after completion of the root treatment.
Is this very important?
Leaving the infection will cause a lot of pain and could be dangerous when it spreads beyond the local tissues.