Most of us are familiar with some of the standard dental procedures, but when it comes to terms like endodontics, we are less aware of what this is referring to and the types of procedures it covers. To help patients understand, we'll cover some of the standard procedures and practices performed by a dentist and…
Common Endodontics Procedures
Endodontics involves the treatment of the inner structures of the teeth, which contain the pulp or nerves. The word “endodontics” means inside the tooth. The treatment, which removes infected material from a tooth’s insides, is often done to save an infected or damaged tooth from being removed. This article talks about common endodontic procedures and what is involved.
Common endodontic procedures
Learning more about the different endodontic procedures available from the dentist can help patients ascertain if they need to undergo this treatment from a dentist. A dentist with training and experience in endodontics can diagnose tooth pain and perform procedures that can help get rid of the infection and save the tooth. The common procedures include the following.
Root canal therapy
This is the most common endodontic treatment. Root canal treatment is required if there is an infection or inflammation of the pulp (located at a tooth’s core layer) or the canals supporting the pulp. Infection and inflammation typically result from deep or severe cavities, cracks or fractures, injuries, or repeated treatment on the tooth.
Without treatment, the inflammation or infection may result in severe pain, abscesses, and tooth loss. Patients often experience the condition differently, but common symptoms may include tooth sensitivity, persistent pain, gum swelling, and tooth discoloration. The symptoms are not always visible, so the dentist might request an X-ray scan to make a diagnosis. If signs of tooth infection are identified, the dental professional will recommend a root canal treatment to clear the infection, stop the pain, and save the tooth.
The root canal procedure involves removing the infected pulp material, cleaning and disinfecting the root canals and sealing off the empty chamber. Local anesthesia will be administered to make the procedure pain-free for patients. The dentist will also ensure that the patient is comfortable before starting the treatment.
Usually, the root canal procedure needs only a dental appointment, but the case may be different for some people. After the treatment, the dentist will take tooth impressions and send them to the dental lab to produce the dental crown. The crown will protect the affected tooth from further damage.
In most cases, the root canal is all a patient needs to save an infected or inflamed tooth. However, it may not be enough to eliminate the infection from the tooth and surrounding tissues. To save the tooth in those cases, patients may require a surgical treatment called an apicoectomy.
For the procedure, an incision will be made in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone. A small opening is created in the bone around the root to get to the infected area. After removing the infected tissue, the root tips will be cleaned and sealed with a filling. Sutures will be used to close the gums. Like the root canal, the procedure is done with local anesthesia.
Endodontic treatment is the most effective way to save the tooth if you have an infected pulp or root canal. If you have noticed signs of infection or inflammation, contact the dentist to discuss treatment. Endodontics has a high success rate if done on time.
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