Is the branch of dentistry with deals with the tooth pulp and the area surrounding the tooth root. When a tooth is damaged by deep caries, trauma, fractured tooth, etc the pulp (that contains blood vessels, lymph and nerves that nourish the tooth) is exposed to bacteria that can cause infection. Endodontic therapy saves these teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. It eliminates the infection and protects the tooth from future bacterial infection.
This is the most commonly performed endodontic treatment. After anaesthetizing the tooth the dentist drills a hole in the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned and reshaped. Once the infection is eliminated the tooth is disinfected, filled and sealed. The inflamed tissue at the end of the root usually heals naturally. A root canal treated tooth that is properly cared for can last a lifetime. The procedure has a very high success rate.
In cases where there is extensive damage to the tooth structure, it is not possible to gain enough support from it to place a crown. Moreover such teeth are liable to fracture under occlusal forces. In such cases a post and core is used to restore the tooth. A post is simply a small narrow smooth cylindrical shaped object metal or carbon fibres. After removing some of the root canal filling, the post is placed within the tooth. A resin is used to build up the natural shape of the tooth around the post. This post and core build up provides a base onto which a crown can be designed.
Root end surgery, also called Apicectomy is a surgical procedure which is performed at the tip of the root in conjunction with a root canal treatment. A pulp infection usually involves the root end and the area surrounding it i.e. the periapical region. After a successful root canal treatment, the periapical infection resolves naturally. But in the rare instance that the infection at the root end persists, an Apicectomy is performed. Here gaining access to the root end from the side rather than through the tooth, the area is directly visualized. The root end is then removed along with any pus and decomposed or infected tissue. The root end cavity is filed with a biocompatible material and the area is closed.