What is Endodontics?

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental speciality that deals with the study and treatment of the inside of the tooth. It can be difficult for patients to understand what endodontic procedures are or why they might need one, but this blog post will break it down in an easy-to-understand way. In order to treat any tooth infection, it’s important to first remove all of the infected tissue from around the root canal. 

Endo-what?

The word “endo” comes from the Greek meaning “inside”, while “odont” refers to the tooth — in other words, it involves the inside of our teeth. Endodontic treatment involves treating these sensitive tissues by cleaning out infections so they don’t come back. After treating a tooth with endodontic therapy, you’ll have less pain, fewer infections, and more tooth stability because we’ve eliminated bacteria from around your tooth roots.

The pulp is the living, sensitive tissue in your teeth that contains blood vessels and nerves. It’s important for healthy tooth development when you’re a child, but by adulthood, it has finished growing. If this delicate area becomes infected or contaminated with decay, we can end up feeling pain, and root canal treatment may be necessary to save what’s left of our decaying tooth!

Differences between a dentist and an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist who has finished an additional two years of postdoctoral training focused on the root canal and uses specialised instruments and techniques.  

A major reason for this difference in surgical skills is the size of the tooth or root that will be removed. A dental procedure typically only involves the surface, but as an endodontic specialist, they remove more than the surface of the tooth. This requires finding the canals that lead to vital nerve tissue, in order to perform a thorough cleaning process. This creates quite a bit more pressure, and patients with sensitive gums tend to feel more discomfort after surgery than if they went through a traditional dental procedure instead.

Why do I need to see an endodontist?

If you have a tooth that’s throbbing in pain and is sensitive to hot or cold, you likely need a root canal. While many dentists offer this procedure, it’s highly recommended that you go see an endodontist for the best chances at complete healing with the least possibility of recurrence.

A dental pulp infection or tooth trauma can cause a variety of problems. 

Treatments an endodontist can perform

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that treats diseased pulp tissue. It takes place in two phases, diagnosis and treatment.

It includes X-rays and examination to assess for abscesses, sinus lifts, or periapical lesions.

It can be done using either root canal therapy (simple endodontic procedure) or apicoectomy (complex endodontic procedure), where a small section of the tooth is removed from the head of the tooth before sterilizing the remaining furcation area. 

  • Root canal treatment is a procedure that removes infected material from the tooth’s root and replaces it with filling. It can be done to prevent future infection, or if an injury has cracked your teeth, so they need more extensive work than just bonding them back together.
  • Endodontic retreatment. Root canal treated teeth can become diseased or painful if the root canal procedure did not heal properly. Endodontic retreatment helps to save your tooth from pain and further infection.
  • Treating injuries or cracks involving the dental pulp is another procedure an endodontist can perform. 

What is a root canal?

Root canal (endo) treatments are a common dental procedure that can be used to repair a tooth that is badly damaged or infected by bacteria. Endodontists also deal with various filling materials to replace root canals. The term “root canal” consists of removing all pulpal tissue surrounding a diseased tooth’s pulp chamber, lower its apex through a hole drilled into its crown region, then fill it with gutta-percha points and seal it off.

Symptoms: Do I need a root canal?

When you notice any of these signs, you should make an appointment at your dentist right away!

The procedure of a root canal

A root canal treatment typically begins when a dentist removes the nerve of a tooth (nerve removal) and fills the hole from there. Then, they can proceed with an “endodontic” filling to seal that hole. If everything goes according to plan and if the endodontic filling was successful, then you’ll live without pain for many years following your procedure! First, your dentist will numb the tooth, gum tissue, face and both jaws (maxillary) or just numb the mouth area (periapical); then, they will carefully clean out bacteria from inside the root canal system.

What are the benefits of having a root canal procedure done?

Is there anything I can do to prevent tooth decay or avoid needing a root canal?

There are many things that can be done to minimise the risk of getting tooth decay or needing a root canal.

So, you have some questions about endodontics? We’ve got the answers! If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we mentioned above, call your dentist or go to a dental clinic right away. If you have any questions or if you want to know more about the benefits of having a root canal procedure done by an endodontist, please let us know in the comments below. We’ll be happy to answer your question and provide even more information on this topic.

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