ENDODONTICS is a specialized field that involved the study and treatment of root canal and pulp systems, and their related structures. The aim of endodontics is to maintain a healthy pulp and, in cases of an already diseased pulp, to create a biological root canal system that is compatible with its surrounding structure so that the tooth will remain healthy and continue functioning.

The root canals or pulp systems of a tooth are the parts of the PULP CAVITY, which lie within the roots. In a healthy tooth the pulp system contain the vital pulp tissues. The vital pulp tissues are made up of nerves and blood vessels, lymph systems and other vital structures. It is responsible for transmitting feelings of pain within the teeth, supplying nutrition to the teeth and offer resistance to invading bacteria or other stimuli. Root canals are different shapes in each tooth; they are different between different people and races, and they also change their shape, as you get older. Root canals may be made up of just one main channel, or more usually, of several different channels, which may or may not have smaller side channels branching off them.


If a tooth becomes diseased or painful, the pulp system is either in an inflamed state or infected by bacteria. Likely causes may be; extensive CARIES, TRAUMA, severe PERIODONTAL disease, extensive or large RESTORATION work. This often leads to the death of the pulp tissue, which may or may not be noticed by the patient in the form of pain. A pulp may die straight away after trauma or treatment, or may take days, weeks or years to die. Even after the pulp has been removed or has died, a tooth may still be painful due to nerves being affected in the surrounding tissues. The diseases in the pulp, depends on the severity of the diseases, may or may not involved its surrounding structures.

Endodontics treatment consist of treating the diseased pulp by removing the source of the disease and occasionally in combination with topical medication to restored the pulp back to healthy state. This will be follow by restoration to restore the function of the tooth. In cases where the pulp has been affected to an irreversible situation, root canal treatment will be the choice of treatment. The treatment aims at removing all the source of irritation in the root canal and follow by filling of the root canal and coronal restoration to prevent future contamination. The treatment will render the tooth biologically compatible with its surrounding structure so that it can function as per normal.

You cannot provide any homecare, which will treat root canals, but you should follow the instructions of your dentist carefully during treatment if it is to be successful. This may include the taking of medication, the way you eat and clean your mouth, and the times and frequency of appointments.