Experiencing toothache that radiates through your entire head is something no one wants to experience. Endodontics is a branch of dentistry that can help alleviate this type of pain and save your tooth. Tooth pain that radiates through your entire head is often a sign of a deep infection or inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. This can occur due to a cracked or broken tooth, a deep cavity, or injury to the tooth.
In this article, we’ll discuss what endodontics is, how it works, its procedures, and more. Let’s begin.
What Is Endodontics in Dentistry?
First things first, what is endodontics? The definition of endodontics is simple – it is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries of the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. s
Endodontic procedures are a set of treatments and techniques that are used to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and injuries of the dental pulp. The following are some of the most common endodontic procedures:
Root Canal Therapy: This is the most well-known endodontic procedure, also known as endodontic treatment. It involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp, cleaning and shaping the root canals, and then filling and sealing them to prevent future infection.
Apicoectomy: This procedure is used to treat a persistent infection or inflammation at the tip of the tooth’s root. It involves removing the infected tissue and a small portion of the tooth’s root and then sealing the remaining root canal to prevent further infection.
Pulpectomy: This procedure is similar to root canal therapy, but it is used for primary (baby) teeth. It involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp and cleaning and shaping the root canals and then filling them with a medicated material.
Retreatment: This procedure is used when a previous root canal treatment has failed, and the tooth becomes infected or inflamed again. It involves reopening the tooth, removing the old filling material, and then cleaning and shaping the root canals, and placing new filling material.
Trauma treatment: This procedure is used to treat injuries to the tooth and surrounding tissue caused by trauma, such as a cracked or knocked-out tooth. It can involve a variety of treatments depending on the extent of the injury, including root canal therapy, apicoectomy, or even tooth extraction.
Congenital defect treatment: This procedure is used to treat teeth that have congenital defects, such as small or misshapen root canals. It can involve a variety of treatments depending on the specific defect, including root canal therapy, apicoectomy, or even tooth extraction.
Surgical Endodontics: In some cases, traditional endodontic treatment may not be sufficient. In such cases, surgical endodontics may be required. This includes procedures such as apicoectomy, retreatment of a previously treated tooth, and injury or trauma treatment.
It’s important to note that endodontic procedures are typically performed by an endodontist, who is a dental specialist with additional training in endodontics. If you suspect that you may need endodontic treatment, it’s important to see an endodontist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Do Endodontics Treatment Work
Endodontic treatment or root canal is a serious dental procedure to save the dental pulp and prevent extraction. The process of endodontic treatment typically involves the following steps:
The first step in endodontic treatment is a consultation with an endodontist, who is a dental specialist with additional training in endodontics. During the consultation, the endodontist will examine the affected tooth and take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage.
Before the treatment begins, the endodontist will numb the area around the affected tooth to minimize any discomfort.
The endodontist will make a small opening in the tooth’s crown to access the pulp chamber and root canals.
Using special instruments, the endodontist will remove the damaged pulp and clean and shape the root canals. This process is known as “debridement,” and it is important to remove any debris and bacteria to prevent further infection.
- Filling and Sealing
After the root canals are cleaned and shaped, the endodontist will fill and seal them with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
- Temporary Filling
A temporary filling will be placed in the opening of the tooth’s crown to protect the tooth until the patient returns to their general dentist for a permanent filling or crown.
After the treatment, the patient will need to return to their general dentist for a permanent filling or crown to protect the tooth and restore its function.
Reasons You’ll Need an Endodontic Procedure
There are several reasons why you may need an endodontic procedure, such as:
- Tooth pain or sensitivity: Tooth pain is one of the most common symptoms that indicate the need for endodontic treatment. The pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. These symptoms are often caused by an infection or inflammation in the pulp of the tooth, which can be treated with root canal therapy.
- Swelling or tenderness: Swelling or tenderness in the gums around a tooth can be a sign of an infected tooth. This can also be accompanied by a fever or swollen lymph nodes. An infection in the pulp of the tooth can cause inflammation and pus to build up in the surrounding tissue, leading to swelling and tenderness. Root canal therapy can remove the infected pulp and prevent the spread of infection.
- Discoloration: If a tooth has become discolored, it could be a sign of internal bleeding or infection. The tooth may appear gray, brown, or black. This discoloration can be caused by a crack or chip in the tooth, or by a deep cavity that has reached the pulp. Root canal therapy can remove the infected or damaged pulp and restore the natural color of the tooth.
- Repeated dental procedures: A tooth that has had multiple procedures, such as fillings or crowns, may eventually develop problems with the pulp. Over time, repeated procedures can weaken the tooth and cause problems such as a crack or fracture that allows bacteria to reach the pulp. Root canal therapy can remove the damaged or infected pulp and strengthen the tooth.
- Trauma: A tooth that has been knocked out or sustained trauma, such as from a fall or a blow to the face, may require endodontic treatment to repair or save the tooth. Trauma can cause damage to the pulp, leading to infection or inflammation. Root canal therapy can remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth.
- Decay: Tooth decay is a gradual process that can cause damage to the enamel, dentin, and eventually reach the pulp chamber of the tooth. If the decay is not treated in a timely manner, it can cause infection and inflammation that can only be treated with endodontic procedures. Root canal therapy can remove the infected pulp and prevent further damage.
It’s worth noting that not all symptoms will require endodontic treatment, but it’s important to consult with a dentist or endodontist if you suspect that you may need endodontic treatment. They will be able to examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine if you require a procedure.
Endodontic treatments can save teeth that have been damaged or infected, restoring their function and protecting them from further harm. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Endodontic procedures can be a complex process, so it’s important to consult with an experienced professional to ensure that the treatment is successful and your tooth is restored.
For endodontic concerns in Bradenton, Parkwood Dental have the experience and expertise to treat your needs. We offer a variety of endodontic treatments that can help restore damaged teeth and improve your oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.