What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is the treatment done to treat the inside of the tooth. In the core of the tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. When the tooth is decayed and is left untreated the infection can spread to the pulp and the underlying bone causing pain and pus formation.
The most common endodontic treatment is the Root Canal Treatment or RCT.
What are the benefits of the treatment?
This treatment helps in saving the tooth by removing the inflamed and infected tissue. The dentist removes the infected tissue with tiny instruments known as files, cleans and shapes the root canals making the tooth infection free and then fills and seals the tooth with the help of a special material. With the use of a local anesthesia, the treatment can be completely painless.
Why is it done?
Endodontic treatment is indicated in the following conditions:
• Deep decay or caries
• Trauma to the tooth
• Prior to prosthodontic treatment
• Pathological condition
How is it done?
The dentist in the first visit will take an X-ray of the tooth and see the extent of the infection. If required he/she may prescribe medication before the treatment is initiated. Depending upon the severity of the infection and complexity of the treatment, the dentist will ascertain the number of sittings required for the completion of the treatment.
To ensure that you experience no pain during the course of treatment, the dentist will numb the tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic agent.
The dentist will access the chamber that contains the nerves and blood vessels (Figure 2.b). The length of the root canals is determined and infected pulp is removed. In the following visit, the canals will be shaped and cleaned with instruments known as dental files (Figure 3.a).
The tooth is also flushed with medication and saline in to ensure that no infection is left behind. The prepared root canals are then filled and sealed with a special rubber like filling material i.e. Gutta-Percha (Figure 3.b). The crown portion of the tooth is filled with a temporary filling material before it is filled with a permanent tooth colored material (Figure 3.b).
After a week, the dentist reviews the tooth and begins the process of placing a crown on the treated tooth.
The crown is placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function and also to ensure longevity and success of the treatment.
NOTE: In case of a long standing infection, you may experience some soreness during the root canal treatment. You will be given specific instructions to minimize the discomfort.