What Does Endodontic Dentistry Involve?

What Does Endodontic Dentistry Involve?

May 1, 2020
If you’ve been to a dental clinic and heard the phrase ‘endodontic dentistry’ and didn’t get what it meant, this article is for you. We will explain in depth the procedures involved and instances when you might need an endodontic procedure. It is quite a common form of treatment for people experiencing extreme sensitivity in their teeth and those with decay.

What Is an Endodontic Therapy?

The majority of patients enjoy our services when referred for an appointment at our Olivia Rodrigues DDS dental clinic. Anxiety is not an option when it comes to our professionally practiced dentists as we make the treatment as painless as possible. Also referred to as a root canal treatment, this therapy aims at repairing and saving your tooth if the root pulp is badly damaged. The procedure involves removal of the decayed tissue, usually in the pulp, and the inside thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This ensures no deposits of the decayed tissue are left in the root canal.

Must The Tooth Pulp Be Removed?

A tooth pulp infection damages the nerve tissue, and harmful bacteria rapidly multiply inside the pulp cavity. If left untreated, the bacteria and decayed particles can lead to an abscessed tooth and further infections. An abscessed tooth has pus-filled pockets at the tip of the tooth root. It occurs when the infection has broadened its spread throughout the root. Therefore, to restore oral health, the root pulp has to be removed, and the chamber cleaned. Usually, if left untreated, deep tooth decay can cause additional effects, namely:
  • Swellings likely to spread to the neck, face or head
  • Bone degradation about the root tip
  • Drainage complications. A hole can form via the tooth walls into the gums through the cheeks and into the skin, which could be fatal.

When Do You Need a Root Canal Treatment? What Are the Signs?

In most cases, patients will feel sharp pains in their teeth or experience other symptoms. A root canal infection can be as a result of deep tooth decay that has reached the soft tissues of the tooth. The decay can be caused by inadequate oral hygiene or primarily a genetic inheritance. It can also be caused by recurrent procedures on the tooth or as a result of a crack or fracture due to physical injury. In this case, the dentist has to remove the decayed tissue to cleanse the pulp of any infections. If you experience pain and extreme sensitivity in your tooth when you eat or drink, then it’s time for a diagnosis on your tooth. A root canal treatment could be viable. Again if you notice swellings on your teeth with persistent pain, tooth color changes, and abscesses, visit a dentist near you for diagnoses of teeth.

What Happens During an Endodontic Treatment?

This therapy is not performed by just any dentist. It’s done by endodontists who have extra training and specialty in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental pulp related disorders. First, X-ray images are taken to determine the root canal shapes and detect any presence of infections in the bone. Your endodontist then numbs the area around the tooth using a local sedative to keep you more relaxed and reduce pain. Your tooth is then drilled to the pulp and dead or damaged nerve tissue completely removed. The space is cleaned out to ensure any bacteria that could be causing the infection is removed. The endodontist then prepares the tooth for filling with gutta-percha, a permanent natural rubber-like substance used in endodontic dentistry. For extra support, the endodontist can add a post on the tooth. After filling, the tooth is sealed to contain gutta-percha. The dentist then adds a new crown on the newly built tooth to preserve the aesthetics, and the procedure is complete. You never feel any pain during the procedure, thanks to the sedative issued at the start of the treatment.

Success Rate

Although some patients require additional treatment, when the bacteria are not entirely eradicated, root canals have an impressive 95% success rate. If the damage is in the back teeth, which have three to four roots, the procedure could be challenging to perform. A severely compromised tooth might also not be salvageable by root canal therapy; hence other long term options such as extraction are recommended.

Complications

It’s possible for new infections to arise after an endodontic procedure. This could be due to:
  • Leaving an undetected root canal uncleaned
  • The occurrence of an unnoticed crack in the root during or before the procedure
  • Defective restoration can allow bacteria to pass into the inner parts re-contaminating the area
  • With time damage to the interior sealing material can cause recontamination of the internal tooth features.