Endodontics cures the inner part of the tooth, called dental pulp. The first target of this branch of dentistry is the elimination of pain and, when possible, saving the patient’s tooth.
The tooth is connected to the bone tissue through the root, which is rich in nerves and blood vessels. The sum of these blood vessel is the pulp. Sometimes, traumas or deep, neglected caries let bacteria penetrate the enamel, causing pulp inflammation which puts the entire system at risk. If the dental inflammation necrotises, the pulp dies. With free access to the bone, bacteria start causing painful abscesses.
In these situations, endodontic therapies are the only solution. The procedure is called devitalisation when the dental pulp is still vital; when the tooth has already lost its vitality, or has already been cured, the procedure is called root canal treatment. Both consist in removing the inflamed or infected pulp and, after a thorough cleaning of the root canal, it is replaced with a filling specifically designed for this purpose.
Modern techniques allow a reasonably quick treatment, with minimal discomfort during and after the outpatient procedure.