Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving diagnosis and treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves.
Our San Mateo Dentist examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.
A root canal is the commonly used term for the main canals within the tooth. These are part of the natural cavity within a tooth that consists of the dental pulp chamber, the main canals, and sometimes more intricate anatomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the root surface of the tooth. Root canals are filled with many blood vessels, loose connective tissue and the dental pulp. This area can sometimes become infected and inflamed, generally due to deep cavities or tooth fractures that allow microorganisms, mostly bacteria from the mouth or their byproducts, access to the pulp chamber or the root canals; the infected tissue is removed by a procedure called a ‘root canal’.
At the center of a tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissue, known as pulp. This hollow area contains a relatively wide space towards the chewing surface of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This chamber is connected to the tip of the root of the tooth via thin hollow pipe-like canals-hence, the term “root canal”. Human teeth normally have one to four canals, with teeth toward the back of the mouth having the most. These canals run through the center of the roots like pencil lead runs through the length of a pencil. These canals are the main source of nutrients from your body to your teeth.