Endodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the inside of the tooth, particularly the dental pulp, the root of the tooth and the surrounding tissues. All general dentists undergo a certain amount of training in endodontic treatments. However, after four years of dental school, some undergo specialized training or spend more time in-clinic, perfecting their skills. We are one and can help to keep your mouth in excellent oral health.
Anatomy of A Tooth
A grasp of the basic anatomy of the tooth is helpful in understanding endodontics. Most of a person’s tooth is made up of dentin that is calcified tissue. The crown, which is the visible part of the tooth is covered with enamel, one of the hardest substances in nature. However, at the very center of a tooth, under the enamel and dentin is the soft tissue called dental pulp, made up of living connective tissue, blood vessels, cells, and nerves. This pulp is crucial during the formation of the tooth. However, after the tooth is fully mature, it can survive without the pulp and instead, draws its nourishment from the surrounding tissue. However, should this pulp become infected, it can cause significant pain and, potentially, lead to an abscess. When this pulp becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.
Because the dental pulp has to be removed if it gets infected, root canal procedures are the most common type of endodontic treatment that people undergo. There are several reasons the dental pulp can get infected, the most common of which are deep untreated cavities and trauma that damages or cracks the crown. In both cases, bacteria penetrate the tooth down to the pulp, which can eventually die.
Because the bacteria, ‘hiding’ in the hollow tooth is virtually impervious to antibiotics and the body’s natural immune system, Endodontic treatment removes the infected dental pulp while leaving the natural tooth intact. In endodontics, we will also meticulously clean and disinfect the inside of your tooth, then fill the space left by the pulp with an inert material. Finally, the tooth may be fitted with a crown for added protection.
For many people, the idea of enduring a root canal therapy can be frightening. However, modern technology has made root canals little different from a routine filling, except for the fact that they take a little longer. In the most cases, root canal procedures can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth. To avoid the added complication of the infection spreading into the bone, the importance of having a tooth treated as soon as possible, cannot be overstated. The earlier the endodontic treatment, the better the outcome. Additionally, we use sedation to ensure that you remain comfortable.
Whether you have accidentally damaged a tooth or have one that has decayed over time, endodontics can treat and probably save these teeth, and alleviate any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. The sooner you schedule a treatment, the better.