What You Want to Know about Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment (“endo” – inside; “dont” – tooth), commonly known as root canal treatment, is needed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The causes could be deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures on one tooth (replacing a large filling, for example), or traumatic damage such as a crack, chip or even a root fracture. Gum disease can also give rise to root canal problems necessitating root canal treatment.
Endodontic treatment by endodontic equipment is the process of going inside the pulp space and removing the infected, dead tissue. The space is then disinfected and sealed with special materials. Nowadays, endodontic treatments are performed with advanced techniques and materials, making them far more comfortable and faster.
Generally speaking, whatever the cause of root canal or pulpal disease, root canal or endodontic treatment will be necessary to save the tooth. All dentists receive training in endodontic treatment and can perform root canal procedures, but often a general dentist will refer individuals who need endodontic treatment to an endodontist, a root canal specialist.
Endodontists are dentists who have completed an additional two or more years of advanced residency training in the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders of the dental pulp, and in the diagnosis of dental pain; their focus is therefore on saving teeth.
In order to make a proper assessment and accurate diagnosis of which tooth is affected and exactly what is causing the pain, a thorough history and examination is necessary, together with a radiographic picture (x-ray) of the tooth or area.
Your dentist or endodontist will check your medical history and current medications to ensure your health and treatment safety. If you are very nervous, an oral sedative or anti-anxiety medication may be helpful — discuss the options with your dentist or endodontist ahead of time.
Preliminary treatment to remove the decay and the source of infection of the pulp is necessary, along with a determination of whether the lost tooth structure can be restored. If a fracture of the tooth has reached the pulp( dental pulp tester ), or infection is associated with gum disease, it could be more difficult, if not impossible, to save the tooth.