Root Canal or Endodontics is a treatment used when the inner wall of the tooth is infected or damaged. This treatment saves a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed.
Infection can occur for different reasons such as a crack, chip, deep decay or trauma to the tooth. Sometimes the outside of the tooth can appear healthy while it can be badly damaged inside.
There is a collection of blood vessels and nerves inside each tooth; this system of vessels is called "pulp". The root canal procedure involves removing the pulp. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the root of the tooth. Your dentist will clean the root canal system and completely seal it to prevent further damage from occurring.
Signs that your tooth may have an infection include: swelling around the tooth; sensitivity to temperature; or pain in the gum area or the tooth itself.
Root canal therapy, or endodontics is the preferred method for treating a badly infected tooth because it saves the tooth by protecting it from further damage. Root canal therapy restores your normal bite and allows chewing while preventing further damage to surrounding teeth through spread of infection. By doing so, you avoid extraction and replacement with a dental implant or partial denture.