Endodontics focuses on the inside of a tooth. The Greek word, “Endodontics,” actually translates to “inside the tooth.” This usually deals with interior issues with the pulp, arterioles, tissues, and nerves. After graduating dental school, Endodontists learn how to perform root canal therapy and other procedures regarding the inside of the tooth.
In the past, if a tooth was infected or had a disease, it usually got extracted. Fortunately, Endodontists are now able to save problemed teeth. In order to do this, they will remove the affected area inside and cover it with a crown, allowing it to look and function like normal.
What to look for:
- Inflamed or tender gums
- Sensitivity to different temperatures in food and drinks
- Sensitivity when eating or biting down
- Discolored teeth
- Sore lymph nodes
Reasons for endodontic treatment:
The goal of endodontic treatment, commonly known as root canal therapy, is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. While there are many alternatives to replace teeth such as dental implants, if we can, we try to recover your natural tooth.
Most common reasons root canal therapy is needed:
Bacterial infections – Excess food left after eating or poor oral hygiene can cause plaque and bacteria to form on your teeth. Bacteria will attack the pulp of a tooth and cause inflammation, infections, and potentially compromise your overall oral health.
Fractures and chips – When you are injured in an accident or get a large chip or crack in your teeth causing the top part of your tooth or crown to come off, endodontics will likely be needed. An exposed tooth is more prone to infection and adopting other dental issues.
Injuries – When a car accident or a sudden hit to the face leaves one or more teeth damaged, root canal therapy may be needed. It’s possible we may be able to fix your injured teeth with other minor treatments.
Removals – If a tooth gets hit so hard it falls off, immediate action is crucial. Clean your tooth with a special dental cleanser, water, or milk, and place it back in the socket as soon as possible. Rinsing it quickly will keep the inside of the tooth moist, like its natural environment. You should seek help from an Endodontist as soon as possible.
What does root canal therapy involve?
Root canal therapy is generally completed in one to three appointments. Initial X-rays will be taken to determine the state of the problemed tooth.
Your Endodontist will administer an anesthetic and place a dental dam to keep saliva away from the tooth during the procedure. We’ll create a hole in the top of the tooth and take the pulp out.
After this step is completed, we will shape your tooth, clean and fill it with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material. We seal the top of the tooth with cement. We will place a temporary crown for the time being and put a permanent one on at your last appointment.