Once individuals are adults, teeth can look and function normally without the tooth pulp. Thus when the pulp becomes infected, dentists may have to employ endodontic or root canal treatment to save a diseased tooth.
Deep cavities of fractured teeth can lead to the tooth pulp becoming diseased and needing removal. Left untreated, the infection eventually causes the pulp to die, and unless it is removed mechanically tooth and bone loss result. Once the pulp is removed, however, dentists can clean, shape, and fill the roots of the the tooth with material designed to inhibit further infection.
While endodontists should do procedures faster, with new rotary instruments and nickle titanium files, practiced general dentists can do a great job as well.
Endodontically-restored teeth can last a lifetime if properly cared for. The key is to practice good home care and maintain regular dental checkups. Also, if individuals get in the habit of brushing and flossing after each meal and limiting snacks, they can decrease the production of bacteria in the mouth.
Last updated: 12-May-05