Procedures - Endodontic or "Root Canal" Treatment

What is endodontic treatment?

Tooth Diagram

“Endo”, meaning“inside”, and “odont”, meaning “tooth”, are Greek words that translate to “inside the tooth”.

Inside the tooth, there is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.

The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

For a step-by-step view on the procedure, please click here.

Why would I need an endodontic procedure?

A “root canal,” also known as endodontic therapy, removes damaged pulp tissue within the roots of the tooth. These roots are in the part of the tooth you can’t see, concealed under gums. The pulp, located in a channel running down the center of the tooth’s roots, contains blood vessels, tissue, and the nerves. It can be compromised by any number of traumas, including decay, cracks in tooth, gum disease, and deep restorations.

When the pulp is damage, the entire tooth can become threatened and pain can result. Removing the pulp offers a way to save the tooth and avoid or stop pain and infection. Once a root canal procedure removes the pulp, the root continues to function as it should, with its supporting tissue intact. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can continue to cause pain or lead to an abscess and/or swelling of the face and neck.

Root Canal

What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?

Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.


Disclaimer Notice This website is provided for information and educational purposes only. A doctor/patient relationship has not been established by your use of this site. A diagnosis or treatment has not been provided by this site. The information provided on this site should be used along with your consultations with your endodontist. There are no guarantees or warrantees regarding the information proficed on this website. This website is not intended to offer specific medical, dental, or surgical advice to anyone.