Endodontics is a dentistry division specializing in preventing, diagnosing, and treating the inside of the tooth (pulp) and surrounding tissues. The pulp comprises a soft tissue that has blood vessels and nerves.
Endodontists are highly skilled professionals and usually have spent a further two years in academia than a dentist. Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth, pain management, and preventing infection leading to tooth loss. In addition, they are focused on the expertise in diagnosing the origin of the source of oral and facial pain.
Many people are apprehensive when they undergo a dental procedure, but the endodontist can perform the procedure with less pain with proper anesthesia. In addition, most patients with either damaged teeth, infection, or inflamed bacteria residing inside the canals are usually first assessed by the dentist and then referred to the endodontist.
In endodontics, high-end specialized instruments and equipment, some made of nickel-titanium, are used to make the procedure easy and achieve much better results. For example, digital radiography, which emits low radiation, is used instead of the normal X-ray. Another instrument used is the 3-dimensional microscope for imaging the tooth and its anatomy, and this helps the endodontist visualize the tooth and its anatomy to resolve the problem entirely.
The following is the usual procedure in endodontics:
- Clean the tissue, prepare for disinfection, and then seal it
- If tissue is injured, then it will be removed
- If the tissue is infected, the root canal will be cleaned, disinfected, and sealed with inert material.
- The endodontist will usually perform the root canal and apicoectomy surgery.
Surgery is done when:
- The gums tissue needs lifting, and the bone needs to be removed.
- There is more damaged tissue around the tip of the tooth.
- Only when a root canal has failed.
A root canal is one of the most common referrals to the endodontist. Unfortunately, many people have had a bad experience when a root canal has been poorly done, and they continue to have excruciating pain. No wonder many would rather remove their tooth than have root canal surgery. But endodontist is skilled in saving the tooth and managing the pain during the procedure.
Symptoms of root canal infection
The following are the symptoms of root canal infection –
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
- Discolored teeth
- Swelling of gums and teeth
- Tenderness of teeth
The symptoms occur when there are cracks and deep cavities in the enamel to the pulp – a soft tissue inside the tooth with several blood vessels and nerves. That will result in inflammation and infection in the root canals of a tooth and can lead to tooth loss, abscess, and intense pain. The deep cavities are caused by tooth decay, trauma to the teeth, or repeated dental treatment. Once a dentist has confirmed these symptoms using an X-ray, he will usually refer the patient to the endodontist to save the tooth, remove the infection and lessen the pain.
The root canal treatment is usually done under anesthesia. Before the procedure, the endodontist will inform the patient of the process and reassure them of their comfort, especially in managing the pain during the surgery. By using the latest anesthetic techniques, the endodontist will ensure that there will be less pain for the patient. Next, the endodontist will remove the infected pulp, deep clean and clear the root canals of any infection and then seal them with inert material. The patient can then be referred to the dentist for fillings or dental crowns.
An apicoectomy is the surgical procedure the endodontist does to save a tooth when the root canal and the surrounding tissues are badly inflamed and infected. This procedure is usually done under a local anesthetic to numb the pain.
The endodontist will make an incision on the gum, remove all the infection, clean the tooth’s root tip, and then seal it with fillings. The incision will then be sutured together, and this will be left for a couple of days. The sutures will either fall off or be removed on the next appointment and monitored to make sure it is properly healing.
Endodontics is a lifesaver for those who would like to undergo a dental procedure under a care of a specialist. The endodontist focuses on preserving the teeth, which has helped many who have undergone dental procedures to preserve their teeth.