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Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with diseases of the tooth foundation, namely, the tooth root, dental pulp, and surrounding tissue. Teeth are composed of a hard structure surrounding a soft, living tissue called the pulp (also called the “nerve”). The pulp contains blood vessels, fibers and nerves. The pulp can become diseased or injured and thus is unable to repair itself. The pulp then dies and endodontic treatment is required.
The most common procedure done by an endodontist is root canal therapy which is the removal of diseased pulp tissue before infection sets in. Other procedures include incision for drainage and periradicular surgery (root end surgery). These treatments are needed in cases of abscesses, root fractures, problematic tooth anatomy and to prevent extractions.