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Sometimes a patient receives the news that the pulp of his or her tooth has been injured or has become diseased. When the infected pulp (containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues) is not removed, pain and swelling can result. The good news is that the tooth does not always have to be extracted. An endodontic procedure called root canal treatment can enable a patient to save his or her tooth.
Endodontists are dental specialists who treat diseased or injured tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. They perform dental procedures such as root canal treatment to remove the pulp from a tooth's canal, clean it, and seal it off from further decay. Once root canal treatment is completed, a final restoration of the tooth is required to maintain the integrity of the tooth structure and protect the tooth's canal. The tooth may be restored by a general dentist or prosthodontist with a crown or restorative materials (composite or silver filling).