If decay progresses to the first stage, a small filling will be required. If decay develops to the third stage depicted, root canal therapy will be required. (Source: Wikipedia)
Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry, that deals with the tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. The pulp (containing nerves, blood and lymph vessels) can become diseased or injured and thus unable to repair itself. The pulp then dies and endodontic treatment is required. Dentists specializing in this field are called endodontists and complete an additional 2-3 years of training following dental school.
The most common procedure done in endodontics is root-canal therapy, which involves the removal of diseased pulp tissue. The aim of treatment is to remove infection caused by bacteria from inside the tooth. If left, the infection would leak out of the tooth's root and make the surrounding bone ill and painful as well as other possible health consequences.
Once the diseased tissues are removed, the body's defense system can then repair the damage created by disease.
Cleveland Clinic Dentistry has an endodontic specialist on the consultant staff who provides off-site endodontic services, and who is part of our General Practice Dental Residency training program.