This is the first of two review papers which aim to update the general dental practitioner on contemporary endodontic practice. This first paper reviews advancements in knowledge of endodontic infections, case selection and diagnosis. An overview is given of contemporary pulp therapy and the role of antibiotics in endodontics. The second paper assesses the recent developments in root canal treatment, restoration of the endodontically treated tooth, and advanced endodontic procedures, ie root canal retreatment and surgical endodontics.

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