The root canal is the hollow area at the center of a tooth. In dentistry, a pulpectomy is an endodontic treatment to cure an infection of the root canal; informally a root canal. A root canal, coupled with internal tooth bleaching, is also used to fix teeth that have blackened due to infiltration of decayed soft tissue into the dentin in the teeth, most often seen in frontal incisors that have been injured through a sudden impact.
At the center of a tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissue, known as pulp. This hollow area comprises of a relatively wide space towards the chewing surface of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This pulp chamber is connected to the tip of the root of the tooth via thin hollow pipe-like canals—hence, the term "root canal". These canals run through the centre of the roots like pencil lead runs through the length of a pencil. The tooth receives nutrition through the blood vessels and nerves traversing these canals. Occasionally, a cavity on the outside of the tooth may allow this soft tissue to become infected. If left untreated a serious jaw infection can result. The infection and inflammation is very painful in most cases. Ideally treatment should take place before this happens.
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