Endodontics deals with treating the dental pulp (tissue present inside the tooth, which contains the nerve, the blood vessels and the soft connective tissue) and the tissues surrounding the tooth. This treatment is also known as root canal treatment: the dentist removes the pulp, fills the inside with a suitable filling material and seals the root with a thermoplastic rubber called gutta-percha.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the nerve tissue or the pulp is inflamed or infected. If you do not proceed with the endodontic treatment, the tooth will get worse, bringing pain to the inflamed area and also to the abscess.
The treatment is performed under local anesthesia, so the patient will not feel anything.
How a root canal treatment takes place
First of all our endodontist – a doctor specialized in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and lesions of the dental pulp – will make an x-ray of the arch to know the shape and extent of inflammation and to decide the most appropriate treatment.
After anesthesia, a latex dam is placed on the tooth so that nothing can fall into the tooth, even saliva, and the area to be treated remains dry. At that point the endodontist will remove the pulp tissue and clean the canals.
The next step in root canal treatment involves filling each channel with gutta-percha and a sealing cement. Gutta percha is biocompatible, so it does not cause any effect in the mouth.
The dentist will fill the tooth with a temporary filling: at a second session the tooth will be closed or with a permanent filling or with an artificial dental crown.
When is root canal treatment necessary?
There are various symptoms that make you understand when you need endodontics:
formation of an abscess at the root of the tooth prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold substances strong pain, continuous or during mastication of the tooth.
When the dental pulp is infected, the bacteria multiply in the pulp chamber and together with the dying pulp, they create an infection or an abscess, that is, a bag full of pus that forms at the root of the tooth. If the infection progresses, the pain and swelling can extend to other parts of the face.
Once the infection has been eliminated, thanks to the canal treatment the restored tooth can normally perform the masticatory function. However, it is important to carefully treat oral hygiene after endodontic treatment.