What is it?
In clinical terms, endodontics involves either preserving part, or all of the dental pulp in health, or removing all of the pulp in irreversible disease. This includes teeth with irreversibly inflamed and infected pulpal tissue.
Not only does endodontics involve treatment when a dental pulp is present, but also includes preserving teeth which have failed to respond to non-surgical endodontic treatment, or for teeth that have developed new lesions, e.g., when root canal re-treatment is required, or periradicular surgery.
What’s the difference between a dentist and an endodontist?
While all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school.
Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.
For this reason, endodontists proudly refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.
Root canal treatment is a typical endodontic procedure used to treat infected tooth pulp which would be otherwise extracted. The pulp is the soft tissue core of the tooth which contains nerves, blood supply and connective tissue necessary for tooth health. This is usually caused when bacteria enter the pulp through a deep cavity or failed filling.