Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp disorders.
The dental pulp is the soft part of a tooth structure. It contains nerves, arteries, veins and lymphatic tissue; the dental pulp is contained in the hollow space inside the root and in the pulp chamber inside the tooth crown. When the tooth pulp is affected by a disease or scratch and cannot self-repair, it gets infected. Left untreated, the pulp dies and becomes necrotic. There may be pus at the root tip, forming an abscess that can destroy the bone structure around the tooth.
The endodontic treatment represents the removal of the infected pulp tissue, which allows the immune system to repair damages caused by infection.
The endodontic therapy is a treatment that will save the diseased or infected tooth. The alternative to endodontics is extraction. Normally, a decayed or diseased tooth starts to hurt. Pain can be intermittent at first and in time it progresses up to an acute or severe pain that can be felt in all the teeth on that side. Sometimes the pain is not felt and an abscess can be found at a routine scan.
The endodontic therapy usually takes place during two or three sessions.
The tooth treatment includes the following steps:
- A local aesthetic is used to eliminate pain during the procedure. The tooth will then be isolated by a rubber device separator. This will create an excellent antiseptic environment.
- There will be an access hole made in the top of the tooth pulp chamber.
- The pulp is removed and the radicular channels are cleaned, enlarged and carved into a form which will be later on filled and sealed.
- A temporary filling will be added to the opening of the tooth in order to seal the surface until the patient’s next visit. It may be that after a day or two you will feel rather uncomfortable.
During the next stage of treatment, the temporary filling will be removed and the radicular channels are filled and sealed. This is the end of the endodontic treatment. At the end of this stage, the tooth will be restored. Due to major loss of the hard tooth structure to caries or old fillings, the preferred method of restoration is a crown. A pivot can be placed inside the channel for additional support.
If you had a sick nerve tooth, it is very likely to lose that tooth. Today, due to a special dental procedure – the therapy of the radicular channel – that tooth can be saved. In most cases, this procedure causes very little discomfort and may involve one or no more than three visits to the dentist. In the end, what counts the most is that the tooth and your smile were saved!