Endodontics are used to repair and save the tooth or molar instead of extracting it. If you have a seriously damaged, decayed, or infected tooth or molar, your dentist may recommend an endodontic treatment.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a procedure, commonly known as a root canal treatment, which involves removing or partially removing the affected dental nerve or pulp, primarily caused by bacteria, leaving the root canal or root clean and bacteria-free.
Although cavities are the main cause of inflammation and infection of dental nerves, there are other reasons for this treatment, such as trauma, fractures, abrasion, wear, among others. These causes are associated with specific symptoms, such as:
- Spontaneously intense pain.
- Dental sensitivity to cold, heat and/or eating sweets.
- Inflammation of the gums and, in advanced cases, of the face.
- Discomfort while chewing.
- Change in tooth color.
Types of Endodontics:
Single-rooted endodontics: This is performed on dental pieces that only have one root or canal. These are usually the incisors and canines.
Double-rooted endodontics: This is carried out on teeth with two canals, such as the lower premolars or the upper second premolars.
Multi-rooted endodontics: This is done on teeth with three or more canals, such as the upper and lower molars.
What is dental pulp and why does it become inflamed or infected?
The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth or molar that contains nerves, blood vessels, and provides nutrition to your tooth or molar. It can get infected for the following reasons:
- Deep cavities, where bacteria reach this tissue and infect it.
- A fractured tooth or molar, where the fracture reaches the nerve and is exposed to the oral cavity and contaminated with bacteria from the environment.
- An injury or a very strong blow to the tooth. In these circumstances, the nerve dies due to the trauma and, being dead, like any tissue, it decomposes, fills with bacteria; therefore, it must be extracted and cleaned to avoid more severe infections in the future.
Since the treatment is on the dental pulp or nerve, the component that keeps the tooth alive when it is removed, the tooth becomes very weak and susceptible to fracture. That is why it is ideal that it be covered with a porcelain restoration type crown or inlay, depending on what the professional values. In very few cases it is covered with a “sleeve”, as this increases the risk of fracture and the tooth may be lost.