Endodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with the treatment of pain in infected teeth and teeth that have been subject to trauma
Endodontics, or as its more commonly referred root canal therapy, is performed to save a tooth with an infected or dead pulp to prevent infection from spreading.
A tooth has 3 primary layers; the visible white enamel, the hard layer known as dentin and finally the soft tissue pulp. The enamel works to protect the dentin and pulp from bacteria and stimuli that may cause sensitivity.
The pulp contains connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves that maintain the health of our teeth. If damaged and pulp isn’t removed, a severe infection could spread to the surrounding tissues, leading to an abscess and even affect your jawbone.
Why is root canal treatment performed?
Root canal treatment is performed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected which can be due to a number of factors including:
- Deep decay
- Faulty crowns
- Chips or cracks in the tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
A root canal procedure is usually performed over several visits to your dental professional and undertaking this therapy may spare you from getting the infected tooth removed.
How is the endodontic treatment performed?
Root canal therapy is a straightforward procedure with little to no discomfort. The process for root canal therapy has a few steps which may take up to three appointments.
Dr Anand at Extreme Dentistry will create an opening through the top of the tooth right down to the pulp chamber. The inflamed or infected pulp is then taken out and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp as the tooth is sustained by the tissues surrounding it.
In order for the root canal to be closed up and filled sufficiently, the canals within the tooth root need to be shaped into smooth tunnels that are free of flaws so bacteria don’t have a place to grow.
A temporary filling will then be placed in order to protect the root canal between appointments.
On your second visit, the temporary fillings are removed and the pulp chamber and root canal are once again cleaned to prevent bacteria from re-infecting your tooth. The canal is then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
Finally, the tooth is fitted with a dental crown or filling which is placed for protection.
Root canal therapy involves minimal downtime and discomfort—most patients report slight soreness, which subsides in a few days and can be managed by over-the-counter painkillers. The tooth can now function normally, like your remaining natural teeth.
Endodontic treatment allows you to continue eating the foods you enjoy, limits the need for ongoing dental work and maintains your natural smile. With proper care, most teeth that have undergone root canal therapy last a lifetime.
Extreme Dentistry may help you keep your natural teeth
Some pulp diseases may be caused by injury, but many are simply caused by poor oral health habits. Brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist at Extreme Dentistry for regular check-ups will decrease your risk of developing pulp disease.
To find out more about Endodontic treatment or to request an appointment with Extreme Dentistry, please contact us today.