Has your dentist or endodontist told you that you need root canal treatment?
If so, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment.
Learn how root canal treatment can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile, and find an endodontist in your area
To understand a root canal procedure, it helps to know about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development.
In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth.
In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.