Written by Danica Lacson on September 28, 2018
What is an Endodontic Treatment?
An endodontic treatment refers to a procedure done inside a tooth performed to save it, remove bacteria or dead tissue inside the tooth.
Among these endodontic treatments, the most well-known is a root canal treatment.
What conditions call for an endodontic treatment?
An endodontic treatment is often recommended for patients with an infected, fractured, or cracked tooth. Traumatic injuries which lead to root and nerve damages will also need an endodontic treatment.
When oral pains are encountered, approach your dentist. He or she will then refer you to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in Endodontics, if he or she deems that the pain is due to a problem with the pulp.
The endodontist will be the right person to diagnose and treat problems involving the dental pulp and other related issues.
What comprises an endodontic treatment?
Before the treatment
Before going through an endodontic treatment like a root canal, it is advised to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol at least 12 hours before the procedure.
Eating is also not recommended to be done before a root canal.
During the treatment
During an endodontic treatment, the endodontist examines and X-rays the tooth.
Afterward, he will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. A small protective sheet called dental dam is placed over the area, isolating the tooth and keeping it clean and free from saliva while the procedure is done.
Using specialized instruments, the endodontist creates an opening in the tooth’s crown, and clean the inflamed and infected pulp.
The insides of the root canal are shaped and filled using a biocompatible material like a gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is sealed in space with an adhesive cement to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed.
The next appointment will then involve placing a crown or other restoration work to restore the tooth’s full function.
Root canals or other endodontic treatments are said to be comfortable and less painful compared to other dental procedures probably because of the modern techniques and anesthetics used during the treatment.
After the treatment
But, the first few days of the root canal may result in tooth sensitivity, which can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
Consulting with your dentist or endodontist remains to be the best option especially if the severe pain that persists for a few days.
Most teeth that underwent endodontic treatments last as long as natural teeth. But, cases of new trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling can result in new infection which may require redoing the endodontic procedure.
After the treatment, refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol until your dentist advises otherwise. Also, take caution on your food intake. It may be best to avoid chewing or biting hard foods right after the root canal.
You may also visit your dentist as necessary to check on your procedure and guarantee that all signs of infection are gone.
Keeping a good oral care routine is still the best before and after a root canal.
What are other endodontic treatment options?
Aside from root canal, there are other endodontic treatments available you can get especially when a root canal treatment is no longer an option. These treatments include endodontic retreatment, endodontic surgery, and dental implants.
- Endodontic Retreatment. During an endodontic retreatment, the tooth will be reopened to remove the filling materials that were initially placed during the first procedure. If there are new infections, the endodontist will remove them, clean and shape the root canals, and fill the space with new filling materials before sealing it with a temporary filling while waiting for the dental restoration. Afterward, a new crown or other dental restoration will be placed over the tooth to seal and protect it.
- Endodontic Surgery. This endodontic procedure may be needed to remove for to treat damaged root surfaces and the surrounding bone of the tooth, or to remove calcium deposits in the root canals.
- Dental Implants. Another option is to get a dental implant. In this procedure, an artificial tooth root will be placed in the jawbone which will be capped off with a dental crown.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.