Root Canal Treatment,Endodontic Therapy,

Endodontics is a field in dentistry that deals with internal tissues of the teeth. Endodontic therapy is a series of treatments performed to save a tooth from decaying or damages. Endodontic therapy or Root canal treatment is a treatment usually performed by the endodontist.

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Parts of a tooth: What happens when a pulp gets damaged?

A tooth consists of two basic parts: the crown and the roots. The crown has an inner and outer layer that protects the tooth from bacteria while the roots consist of a soft inner tissue called pulp that helps nourishes the tooth. The pulp is also made up of small nerve tissues which give feelings to the tooth and blood vessels that carry nutrients to the tooth.

At the moment the pulp gets damaged, it cannot repair itself thus leading to permanent damage. The main cause of tooth damage is bacteria. These bacteria either enter through a crack in the crown or from a deep cavity. Once damaged and not treated it will lead into breakage of tooth bones, swelling of gums, and loosening of tooth.

What is Endodontic Therapy or Root Canal Treatment? How does it help?

Since the pulp is unable to heal itself so a help from an endodontist is very much needed. Even when an infection has already spread throughout the pulp to the roots and to the gum area, an endodontist can still help save the tooth from falling out. What is important is to remove the infection out from the pulp as soon as possible. Once treatment is done, it does not only save the person from losing the tooth but it also help save money from extracting and then filling with dental implants or dental bridge which may cost higher than having a root canal treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Injury?

A person can tell if he/she is suffering from tooth decay when he/she can feel mild to severe pain in the tooth, or otherwise known as a toothache. This pain might get worse when not treated immediately and may be prolonged or even constant. Other symptoms include tooth sensitivity, pain in chewing and throbbing. When such symptoms occur, it is best to consult your dentist or endodontist to have it checked before it’s too late.

What is the Procedure of Endodontics therapy, Root Canal Treatment?

Endodontics therapy or root canal treatment starts with cleaning off the damaged area and injecting an anesthesia to the infected tooth so patients can get comfortable while the treatment is done. Once the anesthesia starts to work, the endodontist will breach the tooth towards the pulp chamber. Additional anesthesia is usually injected into the nerves to completely eliminate any feeling of pain.

Then, all the damaged tissues and nerve tissues will be removed from the pulp chamber, leaving the pulp empty. When done, the root canal will be slightly widened for a smooth flow of the filling. The inside of the tooth will first be disinfected before filling it in.

When everything is prepared, a rubber like filling called gutta-percha will be put inside the root canal. When done, the dentist will finish it off with a temporary filling to seal the opening and some cotton to keep the filling from leaking out. The patient will be asked to come back in a couple of days to have the temporary filling removed and fill the pulp chamber with core buildups and for the tooth to be covered with a tooth crown.

What is a dental crown and why do we need it?

Dental crowns are dental restoration materials cemented into the tooth to cover up the upper portion of the tooth or to cover tooth fillings from a root canal procedure. Dental crowns can be made of porcelain (a dental ceramic), metals (a gold or a metal alloy), or a combination of both.

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Dental crowns have many uses and some of them are restoration of the tooth’s original shape, strengthening of the tooth, and improving cosmetic appearance of the tooth to help patients to have a more confident smile. Read more about dental crowns.

How effective is Endodontic therapy?

Endodontic therapy is 95% effective. Many dentists have practiced this type of dental treatment and for so many years have perfected it. Great new innovations have emerged that enable endodontists to perform root canal treatments in as short as 1-2 hours only. Key factors for a successful treatment are accurate diagnosis, use of proper Endodontic techniques, being meticulous to small details, correct sterility while performing the technique, and choosing the right patients who’ll receive the treatment.

In cases when Endodontic therapy fails, it can be repaired by re-doing treatment through conventional methods like Periapical surgery which is a mini surgical treatment performed at the root tips and to the surrounding tissues. But not all endodontists perform this type of treatment.

Some procedural accidents may occur like breakage of the tip of the metal used by the dentist and is left inside the canal but as of now no serious complications have yet been reported and ongoing studies are still conducted.

What is an Endodontist and what is its difference to a regular dentist?

Endodontists are dental specialists with special training specifically on root canal treatment and other procedures involving the dental pulp. All endodontists are dentists but not all dentists can perform endodontic therapy. A dentist needs to enroll in endodontist specialty to be able to perform such procedures.

How much does a root canal cost?

Root canal cost varies in every country, depending on the dental treatment price range and the number of sessions required. But compared to extracting the tooth and filling in bridge work, root canal seems more efficient. Some insurance companies also cover this type of procedure.

Does a tooth need special care after an Endodontic therapy?

When a tooth gets damaged, its structure also weakens even after an endodontic therapy or root canal treatment. Weakened teeth are prone to fractures which easily break. Patients should be extra careful on what they eat or chew and brush their teeth regularly to avoid further damages. When pain is still felt after an endodontic therapy, it is best to report it to the dentist right away.

Read more about pain after root canal

Root Canal Treatment Video

Find out through this video how root canal treatment is done. The doctor explains lucidly through demonstration how the procedure is done.

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