Endodontic procedures include every treatment involving the inner tissues of the teeth, otherwise known as the pulp or nerve. The word “endodontic” is derived from two stems: “endo,” meaning inside, and “odont,” meaning tooth.
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Perfect from the Inside Out
Our primary goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible. Endodontics is the treatment of the pulp and surrounding tissues of a tooth. When root canal therapy is performed the pulp chamber of the tooth is removed and then filled with a suitable filling material. Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. People have anywhere from 1 to 4 canals in a tooth. Extra canals may branch out and are called “accessory canals.” The number of canals and anatomy of a tooth can vary.
Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. When root canal therapy is performed, infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth chamber. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed to limit the possibility of future infection. Soon after the root canal is performed, the tooth is restored with a dental crown or filling to protect the tooth and restore normal tooth function.
Frequently Asked Questions
The primary purpose of endodontic treatment includes:
- Disinfecting an infected and inflamed root canal
- Removing pathological pulp
- Cleaning the root canal system
- Reshaping the root canal system
- Filling the root canal system to prevent re-infection and promote healing
There are many reasons why a patient may require a root canal. A patient who has suffered dental trauma is a prime candidate for endodontic treatment. When patients ignore tooth decay to the point where it reaches the inner chambers of their teeth, endodontics can help disinfect the area and save the tooth. Endodontic treatment also helps with abscesses, old fillings, chipped and fractured teeth, and infected dental pulp.
The CBCT is a specialized radiograph that allows the doctor to visualize the tooth in three dimensions. It will allow the doctor to see exactly how many root canals are in the tooth, see the bone and supporting structures around the tooth, see tooth position and rotation, nerve position, bone density and pathology, understand the complexity of the tooth’s anatomy, and facilitate the doctor’s ability to perform the best treatment on the tooth.
Once the bacteria is inside the tooth they begin to replicate and migrate then leak into the tissues around the ends of the roots. When this happens the body’s immune system reacts and sets up an inflammatory reaction to try to help protect healthy tissues from bacteria and their toxins. Typically, one of the first things that happens is that some healthy bone is reabsorbed to set up a fibrous barricade to try to protect the body. Left unchecked this may lead to further bone loss, abscess and infection in the jaw bone, and may cause the patient to lose the tooth.
If our doctors have recommended endodontic treatment it is in the patient’s best interest and the best for the tooth to be treated as soon as possible. Waiting to have treatment performed may cause the tooth to further break down, have additional bone loss, start to get loose, and may make it where the tooth can no longer be saved.