Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure relating to endodontics.
A root canal can save a tooth whose pulp is diseased and damaged. When the pulp becomes inflamed it can lead to an abscess, and a root canal is then necessary to save the tooth. The cleaning of the pulp chamber and canals can often require more than one appointment. After the chamber and canals are cleaned and free of disease, they are filled with a material called gutta percha. A crown is then placed to protect the remaining tooth from breakage. Although the tooth is no longer vital, it will still receive nourishment from surrounding tissue. When properly cared for, teeth treated with root canal therapy can last as long as other remaining teeth.