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Endodontics is a dental specialty involved with the pulp, tissues and nerves within the teeth.

If the nerve or pulp within your tooth gets infected, successful endodontic treatment can keep you from losing the tooth, while treating the infection before it causes health problems.

Properly performed, a root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled, though the process is more complicated. It’s the removal of infected or dead pulp ( the inside nerves and blood vessels ) from within the tooth, and the filling and sealing of the resulting space.

An infected (abscessed ) tooth causes pain in the form of swelling and toothache. It may also cause severe health issues, because the bacteria from the infection can enter the blood vessels and travel to other parts of the body.

One way to treat the infection is to remove the tooth and disinfect the area. Nonetheless tooth loss creates an opening between surrounding teeth that frequently requires a dental implant or bridge. It is much better to save the tooth if possible through root canal ( endodontic ) treatment.

The dentist or endodontist starts by applying local anesthesia and isolating the area with a rubber dam. Then they drill an opening in the tooth to use the infected pulp, and remove it and clean the area with specialized tools. The dentist fills the root space with a filling material. Finally the dentist must seal the outside of the tooth with a crown to stop further infection and restore the function and appearance of the tooth.

The root canal treatment is typically performed in one visit. A second visit might be required to finish the crown restoration.