Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that addresses the soft inner tissues of the teeth and surrounding bone. To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something 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 creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during 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. Infection within the pulp can lead to abscesses within the bone which if left untreated, can be life threatening.
The goal of Endodontic treatment, is to eradicate this bacteria to prevent the development of an abscess or if one is already present, to allow it to heal. Once endodontic treatment is needed, there are two choices:
A. To perform Endodontic treatment to maintain the natural tooth
B. Extract the tooth