Endodontics 101: What You Need to Know
Although our teeth are strong and long-lasting, they can get damaged because of poor hygiene or dental trauma. Decay is the most common dental condition experienced by both adults and children. When you have mild to moderate decay, tooth extraction is not necessary. Our endodontic dentist will perform a root canal procedure.
Though it is thought have painful, this endodontic treatment is pain-free. Plus, it can save your teeth and stop the spread of infection.
What is Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontics is a specialized treatment that involves diagnosing and treating the pulp cavity and the surrounding soft tissues. Our teeth are made of different layers; the enamel (the visible part), the dentin, and the pulp chamber. The pulp houses nerves and tissues that support the teeth while in the growth stage. It also contains blood vessels that keep the tooth alive. The pulp also contains a root canal, which is found at the lower part of the tooth.
Factors like poor hygiene and diet or repeated dental procedures can bruise the pulp cavity. In the worst cases, the bacteria can make their way to the root canal and cause inflammation. Without proper treatment, this will develop to cause decay and other dental problems.
When you have moderate decay, the endodontist specialist will perform a root canal procedure to stop the spread of infection and save your teeth from extraction.
When is Endodontic Treatment Needed?
The endodontic treatment becomes necessary when the root canals and the soft tissues become inflamed or infected. A root canal may be a good idea if:
- You have deep decay
- The teeth have cracks and chips
- You have undergone repeated dental procedures that have damaged the pulp cavity.
- Your gums are tender and darkening
- You have lingering tooth sensitivity
Why Is An Endodontic Treatment Better?
There are many reasons why you may consider a root canal procedure, but chief among them is tooth preservation. An endodontic treatment will help maintain your smile and dental structure.
Other benefits for choosing a root canal over other treatments include:
- It is a pain-free procedure. With modern dental technology, root canal procedure is virtually painless. The endodontic specialist may also use dental sedation if you have dental phobia and anxiety.
- The treatment is affordable and effective. Most dental insurance cover endodontic treatment.
- Root canal therapy gives an appealing result. Once the crown is fixed, the teeth will look and function like your natural teeth.
What to Expect During the Treatment?
The endodontic treatment requires at least two dental visits. During the procedure, the endodontist will do the following:
- A comprehensive dental assessment using modern dental diagnostic tools is done to examine the extent of the decay or infection.
- Local anesthesia is given to numb the gums and ease discomfort.
- The affected teeth will be separated using a protective sheet to keep them clean and dry.
- The pulp chamber is cleaned and reshaped in preparation for the filling.
- Using a gutta-percha, the endodontist will seal the cavity. The cavity may be closed using a temporary filling.
- After a couple of weeks, you will come back for the final step. The dental specialist will remove the temporary filling and replace it with a crown. This restores the strength of the tooth allowing you to use it with ease.
What Other Treatments Are Recommended?
Although root canal therapy has a high success rate, it can fail because of various reasons. Sometimes you may have multiple canals that go undetected, causing the pulp chamber to get infected. When the treatment fails, other procedures may be recommended, such as:
- Endodontic surgery. This is performed to remove the hidden canals. During the procedure, calcium deposits may also be removed from the canals.
- Dental implant surgery. If the infection persists and damages the teeth, the dentist may perform a tooth extraction. Removing the teeth will leave gaps that need to be filled. Dental implant surgery is done to replace the missing teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Dr. Smiles if you have lingering tooth sensitivity and pain, and our dentist in El Segundo, CA, will assess your dental health and recommend a suitable treatment.