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Endodontics - Dental Research

Parts of a tooth are the crown and the roots


  • The crown is the part of the tooth that is above the gums. The crown of the tooth consists of the dentin which is the inner part of the tooth and is covered by enamel. The enamel is the strongest part of the crown and is given its color by the dentin.¹
  • The root is below the gum line. The root is connected to the jaw bone and also consists of the dentin. Also, a pulp is at the center of the root and crown. This dental pulp is the nerves and blood vessels that bring feeling and nourishment to the teeth. This is where a root canal is done if unhealthy or damaged¹

tooth
Figure 1: Image of tooth and its parts²

Endodontic/ Root Canals

Endodontic indicates the inner part of the tooth which is located in the dental pulp¹ If the pulp becomes diseased, the tooth needs to be treated, which is termed as a root canal.

A root canal refers to the inner hollow of a tooth that contains the dental pulp and the sensory nerves of the tooth.³ A root canal procedure is done on a tooth that the pulp has decayed or is diseased so the tooth can be saved.³ The treatment removes the pulp and the nerves, and is filled with a filling materials and then the tooth is crowned.† The tooth is now healthy & able to be used without pain since the nerves are not necessary to use the tooth.



Types of Diseases in the Dental Pulp

  • Dental Pulp Calcification
    • Hardening of the pulp which causes compression on the nerves in the tooth resulting in pain.‡
  • Dental Pulp Exposure
    • Changes in the tooth caused by carious lesions, mechanical factors, or trauma, that leads to bacterial invasion from the external environment.‡
  • Dental Pulp Necrosis
    • ¬†Death of dental pulp. Also called pulp gangrene.‡
  • Pulpitis
    • Infection of the tooth pulp due to bacterial infection, tooth fracture, or other circumstances that expose the pulp to the environment allowing bacteria to contaminate the tooth.‡

Signs of an infected tooth

There are several indications that a root canal treatment is needed. The signs are: pain, extreme sensitivity of hot and cold, painful when touched or painful while chewing.  Swelling and drain around the bone and tissues.

After the Procedure:

There will be numbness in the gums and lips for several hours after the treatment. After the numbness is relieved, there may be pain and sensitivity for a few days that can be treated with pain medication.♣ The tooth will feel different than the other teeth and may need repaired in future visits because the tooth is weaker than a regular, healthy tooth.


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