Endodontic treatment deals with the problems associated with the tooth nerve (also known as the pulp).
Nerve damage can be caused by a number of factors including:
- tooth decay
- gum disease
- leaking fillings
If the nerve and nutrient supply of the tooth is damaged the tooth may throb, become sensitive to temperature extremes and even cause infection in the jawbone which could lead to an abscess (this is a collection of bacteria usually around the root of the tooth).
Traditionally, this type of tooth damage led to complete removal of the affected tooth but advances in dental technology now mean the problem can be treated with a root canal procedure which involves cleaning, disinfecting and filling the inside of the tooth and rebuilding it with a crown.
Some front teeth only have a single root canal and others (especially the back chewing teeth) have multiple root canals and therefore these can take a little more time to complete.