What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a field of cosmetic dentistry which involves the treatment of the pulp tissues and root enamel of the tooth. One such procedure is dental root canal therapy which is done when the pulp tissues and the root bones are infected and damaged. Endodontics is carried out to save the tooth from extracting.
Endodontist performs a number of endodontics such as root canal therapy, surgery, dental trauma treatment, endodontic retreatment and cracked teeth treatment. Endodontic involves the entire cleaning of the root canal. Root canal is (hollow area) cleaned, enlarged, shaped and then decontaminated using some antiseptic irrigation solutions. After cleaning, the empty hollow root canal is filled with inert material gutta percha (with the help of eugenol cement).
After the root canal treatment the tooth is dead as the infected pulp tissues, nerves and root bones have been removed eliminating the infection. This makes the patient get rid of the pain cause by an infected tooth.
What is tooth pulp?
The inside part of the tooth consists of a pulp chamber that contains pulp tissues, nerve tissues, blood vessels and connective tissues. The pulp extents from the top of the crown to the root bone in the jaws.
Diseased or injured pulp:
Pulp can be injured or damaged by bacterial infections such as deep cavity or broken tooth. When the bacteria enter the pulp chamber it eventually destroys the pulp and nerve tissues. Later it can penetrate the root bone in the jaws and infect the bones. The infected bone weakens breaks down and swelling is observed. The teeth may become loose and can fall off.
Is it necessary to remove the pulp?
Yes. If the pulp is infected it can cause intense pain and swelling. Infected pulp can further penetrate the bone in the jaws and cause severe damage to the bones that supports your tooth. In such a case you can opt for root canal treatment to remove all the infected pulp or else the least alternative is to pull away your tooth to eliminate the pain. However, extracting the tooth can cause crooked or misaligned of the nearby teeth.
What is endodontics treatment?
Endodontic therapy is relatively painless and is carried out by a professional endodontists. It the infected tooth is left untreated, it will eventually fall out. Endodontic therapy will stop your tooth from extracting and falling. The therapy involves the following procedure-
- The patient is injected with a local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the gums surrounding the tooth. This makes the procedure comfortable and painless.
- The endodontists initially drills through the tooth to the root chamber using a special long, sharp needle shaped drilling instrument. After the tooth is drilled, the pulp chamber is cleaned and all the infected pulp tissues and blood vessels are completely removed.
- Then the canal is shaped, enlarged using the latest instrument. The cleaned root canal is sterilized with some antiseptic sterilizing agents to eliminate any bacteria. Decontamination is done to speed up the healing time.
- Then the empty, hollow root canal is filled with a filling gutta percha (obtained from Percha tree). It is a rubbery, non-elastic inert latex material which is filled into the emptied canal using cement.
- Once the filling is complete and sealed completely (without any air space), the tooth is fitted with a crown (gold or porcelain crown) to protect the teeth from any injury.
Surgical endodontic or treatment is done when the infection has severely damaged the pulp and the bone in the root. This done by performing an opening or cutting in the gums to remove the infected pulp.