Endodontics: Everything You Need to Know
Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on treating the inside of the tooth. Endodontists are dental specialists who have advanced training in diagnosing and treating issues related to the dental pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth.
If you have been experiencing persistent tooth pain or sensitivity, your general dentist may refer you to an endodontist for specialized treatment. Here’s everything you need to know about endodontics and what to expect during a typical endodontic procedure.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of issues related to the dental pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. The dental pulp is a soft tissue located inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. It can become damaged due to deep decay, cracks, chips, or trauma, leading to infection, pain, and inflammation.
Endodontic procedures aim to remove the damaged or infected pulp, clean and shape the root canal system, and fill it with a biocompatible material to prevent further infection and restore the tooth’s function.
Common Endodontic Procedures
The most common endodontic procedure is root canal therapy. This procedure involves removing the damaged or infected pulp from the tooth, cleaning and shaping the root canal system, and filling it with a biocompatible material, such as gutta-percha, to prevent further infection and restore the tooth’s function.
Other common endodontic procedures include endodontic retreatment, apicoectomy, and pulpotomy. Endodontic retreatment is a procedure performed when a previously treated tooth becomes re-infected or fails to heal properly. Apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the tip of the tooth’s root and surrounding infected tissue to eliminate infection and promote healing. Pulpotomy is a procedure that involves removing the damaged portion of the pulp from a baby tooth to prevent the spread of infection.
What to Expect During an Endodontic Procedure
Before the procedure, your endodontist will review your medical and dental history and perform a comprehensive oral examination, including x-rays and other diagnostic tests, to determine the extent of the damage and the best course of treatment.
The actual endodontic procedure involves several steps. First, your endodontist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area and ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Then, they will create a small opening in the tooth’s crown to access the pulp chamber and root canal system.
Next, they will remove the damaged or infected pulp and use special instruments to clean and shape the root canal system. They may also use an antimicrobial solution to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.
Once the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and shaped, your endodontist will fill it with a biocompatible material, such as gutta-percha, and seal the opening with a temporary filling.
After the procedure, your endodontist may recommend a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress and ensure that the tooth is healing properly. In some cases, a dental crown or other restoration may be necessary to protect the tooth and restore its function.
If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain or sensitivity, it’s important to seek professional dental care. Endodontic procedures, such as root canal therapy, can help to eliminate pain, restore the function of the tooth, and prevent the need for more invasive treatments.
At Westchester Smile Design, our team of experienced dental professionals is dedicated to providing personalized, high-quality endodontic care to patients in Westchester and the surrounding areas.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our comprehensive range of dental services.