Sometimes the pulp inside your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This is caused by deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a crack or chip in the tooth, or a blow to the tooth. The inflammation may also be known as a root canal, and if you have ever had one of these, chances are you have visited an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in endodontic or root canal treatment.
Root canal, or endodontic treatment, is a procedure performed to remove damaged tissue from inside the root canals of a tooth. Endodontists usually limit their practice to endodontic procedures. The endodontist performs a type of treatment on the inflamed area.
Unless one's teeth are in grave danger, an endodontist will recommend a non-surgical technique, most commonly known as root canal treatment. This treatment is necessary when the soft inner tissue of the tooth, the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected. A root canal treatment involves removal of the damaged pulp. The canals are then cleaned, filled and sealed to preserve the tooth.
Sometimes endodontic treatment alone cannot save your tooth, and your dentist or endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery. Endodontic surgery includes any surgical procedures used to remove infection from your root canals and surrounding areas. Surgery can also be used in diagnosing problems that do not appear on your x-ray, such as root fractures, or in treating problems in the surrounding bone.