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…
Reasons for Common Endodontic Procedures
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 what to look out for or consider if you think you may need treatment.
What is endodontics?
Unlike orthodontics, which deals with correcting the positioning and outside of your teeth, an endodontist is focused solely on providing treatments that have to do with the internal part of the tooth, including the pulp, nerves, and root system. In most cases, these procedures are aimed at protecting a tooth and preventing further damage by restoring the shape and function of the tooth, removing damaged portions of a tooth, or using dental products to protect the tooth's internal structure so that it is still usable.
Common endodontic practices
Here are some of the procedures that are considered part of the endodontics category of dentistry.
- Root canal -This is the most common endodontic procedure that most folks are probably familiar with, and the purpose of a root canal is to save a tooth with root damage that would otherwise have to be extracted. The most common reason for a root canal is that part of the internal core of the tooth has become infected to the point that intervention is necessary by an endodontist. Severe and profound cavities often cause it.
A root canal works because the dentist removes any infected parts of the tooth pulp and then seals the tooth along with the root canal (the internal channel that leads to the roots of the tooth) to prevent further damage. Typically the dentist will also thoroughly clean the tooth while performing the root canal to prevent debris from getting into the tooth and causing problems.
- Dental fillings -Another procedure that works to preserve the inner part of the tooth is a dental filling. These are most often used to treat cavities by literally filling in holes in the tooth's enamel. The more severe the cavity, the more damaging it is to the inner part of the tooth and the more dangerous it is for your oral health.
- Fillings -can be made from a variety of materials but are used to fill the cavity and protect the tooth from further damage.
A more invasive procedure known as an apicoectomy may be necessary when a tooth has become severely infected or suffered a great deal of damage. This procedure is a surgical procedure whereby your endodontist will open the gum and the bone that leads to the tips of the tooth's roots. By doing this, the dentist can remove the infected tissue and seal the root with a filling before closing the incision. This will not only save the tooth but prevent further infection from spreading.
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