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Endodontic therapy, also known as root canal therapy, is a treatment of an infected or inflammed tooth. The treatment is carried out in the pulp or nerve of the tooth.
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. After endodontic therapy the patient will no longer feel any pain in that tooth because the nerve tissue has been removed and the infection has been eradicated.
Though some people may not have symptoms, the most common signs to look for are pain; a tooth that is very sensitive to temperature changes, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as bone and gingival tissues. If you’re unsure, it’s best to be evaluated by your dentist.
Endodontic treatment is the best way to save a natural tooth. The tooth is restored and can function just like any other tooth. Saving the natural tooth should always be the first choice when dental care is needed.
The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the canal (a channel inside the root) then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.