Has your dentist or endodontist told you that you need root canal treatment? If
so, you're not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with
root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn
more about root canal treatment and how it can relieve your tooth pain and save
Inside the tooth, under the
white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the
pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps
to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth,
the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be
nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Contrary to jokes about the matter, modern endodontic
treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be
completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth
and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during
and after your appointment.
For even more information on root canals, click to visit our Root Canals Explained page that offers a step-by-step explanation of the procedure, benefits and more.
Endodontists Put Root Canal Patients at Ease
Watch interviews with root canal patients describing their positive, pain-free experiences, while endodontists explain what a root canal is and symptoms you may have if you need one.
Endodontists: Partners in Patient Care
Learn as endodontists detail the positive relationships they have with their referring general practitioners and a general dentist talks about the importance of knowing his limitations.
Visit the AAE YouTubeChannel for more patient education videos.
Root canal or endodontic
treatment—treatment done to the inside of the tooth—is necessary when the pulp
becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety
of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns,
or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp
damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation
or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
During root canal or endodontic treatment, the inflamed or
infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and
disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called
gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for
protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile,
continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work.
With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as
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The American Association of Endodontists is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The Association inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication and service.