What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is the specialty that deals with the inside (endo) of your teeth. It is the branch of dentistry that treats diseases and conditions of the dental pulp (the tissue that lies within the tooth that produces a tooth’s sensation) as well as the tissues that surround the dental pulp. These surrounding tissues are often referred to as the “periodontium” which is Greek for “around the tooth”.
Your dentist cleans and shapes your teeth to remove any decay or irritants. However, sometimes a problem remains even after all that is done. This can be because the tooth has been badly damaged by decay or an injury. In this case, what is needed is to repair or replace the tooth. This is where endodontics comes in.
Why is it important to understand endodontics?
The Goal of Endodontics is to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. And the best way to do this is to prevent problems before they start. If your dentist finds something wrong with your teeth, he can perform corrective measures such as filling a hole, placing a crown, or even extracting a tooth. But these measures will only be temporary since the disease or condition will likely return. That is why it is so important to know about endodontics and take care of your dental pulp and periodontium.
The stages of Endodontics
To understand the importance of providing useful, up-to-date information about endodontics, it is first necessary to understand the different stages that are involved in the treatment of a tooth that has a problem.
1. Diagnosis: As mentioned above, the first step is to find something wrong with the tooth. This is often done by the dentist who notices a small spot on the tooth when he is cleaning it. Or perhaps the problem is discovered when the patient has a toothache and the dentist examines the tooth and finds decay or an injury that is causing the patient discomfort.
2. Procedure: Regardless of how the problem is discovered, what follows is a discussion between the dentist and the patient about what needs to be done. And this is where you, as the patient, need to play an important role. You need to be aware of what your dentist is going to do and why he is doing it.
3. Management: This stage involves removing any decay or other damage that has been done to the tooth and then filling in the hole that has been created. Sometimes, a crown or tooth extraction may be required to repair a badly damaged tooth.
4. Post-treatment: Once the procedure is complete, you will be sent home with instructions for taking care of your mouth and teeth. These instructions will include how often to brush and floss, when to visit the dentist, how to take care of a toothache, and what to do if you experience any discomfort in your mouth.
Types of Root Canals
- Now that you understand the different stages of endodontics, it is time to learn about the various types of root canals that are used to treat a problem tooth. This will help you understand why it is so important to provide useful, up-to-date information about endodontics on your website. Here are the three most common types of root canal procedures:
1. The traditional root canal: In this procedure, the pulp is removed from the tooth and then the interior of the tooth is cleaned out and shaped. Then, the area is filled with an inert material such as calcium hydroxide which is left in place for 4-6 months. This allows the tooth to heal with no infection. After 4-6 months, the tooth is drilled and any remaining bacteria are flushed out with an antiseptic. Finally, a permanent filling is placed into the tooth.
2. The “warm” or “epoxy” canal: With this procedure, the tooth is treated much like the traditional root canal. The difference is that after cleaning and shaping, a biocompatible synthetic resin called epoxy is used to fill the inside of the tooth instead of calcium hydroxide. Previously, a root canal that was filled with epoxy had a high failure rate. But now, this type of procedure has a very low failure rate.
2. The “cold” or “non-permanent” root canal: This procedure is done only when a tooth has been damaged by decay or injury. With this procedure, the tooth is cleaned out and shaped. Then, the dentist inserts a small piece of absorbent material into the pulp chamber and puts in place a rubber dam. He then uses a syringe to place a temporary filling material into the tooth. After the tooth has been filled, the rubber dam is removed. After this, the tooth is kept in an incubator that lowers the temperature. This allows the tooth to heal at a lower temperature which speeds up the healing process. Once the tooth has healed, the tooth is ready for a permanent filling.
Types of treatment
Now that you have learned about the different types of root canals, it is time to learn about the three most common treatment procedures:
Pulpectomy: This procedure involves removing the damaged pulp from a tooth. This pulp is then treated with antiseptic solutions. Then, the cavity is filled with a biocompatible material like calcium hydroxide. This material is left in the tooth until the tooth heals. Finally, the tooth is drilled and filled with a permanent filling.
Pulpotomy: This procedure is also known as pulpal capping. It is used when the pulp is severely damaged and if a root canal procedure is not appropriate. With this procedure, the damaged pulp tissue is removed and then the cavity is filled with a material that will help the tooth to heal. This type of procedure is very successful because the tooth will heal without infection. However, this type of treatment should only be done on decayed teeth.
In addition, this type of treatment can cause the development of a cyst or a tumor (a benign tumor) on the surface of the tooth. Dentists who perform this procedure are very careful and make sure the area is healthy before the damaged tissue is removed. If the area is not healthy, the dentist may have to remove more tissue than is necessary.
Apicoectomy: This is the least preferred of the three procedures. It is usually only recommended when another more suitable procedure cannot be used. With this procedure, the damaged area of the root canal is removed. Then, the empty space is sealed up with a material that will stop any infection.
Tooth Colored Filling
Many dentists now recommend tooth-colored fillings for permanent tooth fillings. Tooth-colored fillings do not stain the tooth they are placed in. This makes the tooth look whiter and also helps prevent discoloration from occurring. Tooth-colored fillings also have a higher success rate than white fillings. Discolored teeth can be extremely unattractive. And when the tooth is white, there is a 10% chance of it staining. But when the tooth is tooth-colored, the chances of its staining are reduced to only 2-3%.
Another advantage of tooth-colored fillings is that they help prevent future decay. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), decay is the number one cause of tooth loss. So, if you have tooth-colored fillings, the chances of future decay are greatly reduced. When a tooth is decayed and has a cavity, the decay is usually found just under the enamel. When tooth-colored fillings are placed into this area, it is very difficult for any decay to reappear.
Costs of treatment
There are many factors to consider when trying to determine what is the right treatment for you and your family. But, one of the major considerations is the cost of the treatment. If you do not have dental insurance, the costs can be very high. Also, if you have medical insurance, there may be a limit on how much the dentist can charge you for a procedure. So, it is important to know what those charges will be so you can decide if the treatment is right for you and your family.