Your Quick Guide To Understanding Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment

One of the treatments offered at a dental clinic is endodontics. Endodontics refers to dental treatment administered inside the tooth structure, namely the root canals and the supporting tissue. These inner areas of the tooth can get affected through tooth injury or infection. Endodontic treatment is therefore carried out to abate pain, inflammation, infection and to save your tooth. Overall, endodontic treatment can be classified into three areas. Read all about them below.

Root canal therapy/endodontic therapy

Root canal therapy is a popular dental procedure, one that is synonymous with endodontic treatment. Root canal therapy deals with inflammation and/or infection of the root canals. Such damage can occur after damage to the tooth surface or due to internal infections. This kind of inflammation can cause pain and swelling of the tooth area.

Through root canal therapy, a small opening is made on top of the tooth crown. Needle-like files are then used to locate and remove the inflamed pulp. Any abscess present is also removed. The root canals are then irrigated for cleaning purposes. After that, they are shaped with a file and filled with a dental substitute material. The tooth is then covered with a crown for protection.

Endodontic retreatment /repeat root canal therapy

Endodontic retreatment is basically a repeat root canal therapy treatment. This treatment is necessitated if inflammation in the root canal reoccurs due to a new infection, inadequate cleaning in the former treatment or subsequent tooth damage.

In the process, the fitted crown is removed and the root canals examined. The applied filling is removed, and any inflamed/left-over pulp material extracted. The canals are then cleaned again and filled afresh. The tooth is then cemented with a crown to protect the underlying tooth structures.

Endodontic surgery

Endodontic surgery is a radical, but often minimalistic, approach taken to correct inflammation in the root area of the tooth. Often endodontic surgery is carried out after root canal therapy has failed to curb inflammation and/or infection. It's an ideal substitute to endodontic retreatment.

Through a surgical operation, a small entry point is created on the root of the tooth, right under the gums. The inflammation tissue is then removed from this entry point. This may include removal of: pulp, abscess matter, part of the bone or part of the root. Once removed, the opening is sealed using a filling material and sutures applied. The bone will then heal and cover the area where tissue had been removed.

Endodontic treatment can be carried out by a dentist or an endodontist. While a dentist is familiar and trained on endodontic treatment, endodontists specialize in the field and can better deal with complicated procedures. If you are in need of endodontic treatment, consult your dentist or an endodontist for specialized advice/treatment.