Endodontics: everything you need to know

Endodontics, what is it and how is it performed?

A root canal is the removal of the “nerve” which is the pulp tissue that is contained inside the tooth. The objective is to keep the tooth in the mouth so that it can continue to fulfill its chewing and esthetic functions and thus avoid having to be extracted.

Endodontics is performed when the nerve is affected by deep caries or trauma, fundamentally, although on some occasions what is attempted with the treatment is precisely not the removal of the nerve, but the opposite, to keep the nerve alive to try that young teeth, for example, can complete their growth and reach a normal form and function.

Endodontics may also be needed when teeth are to be ground down for crowns or bridges, as well as in teeth that have gum-related problems.

The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction.

Symptoms of a damaged nerve

– The tooth becomes sensitive to cold, heat, sweets, chewing.

– It presents pain that can be constant or intermittent, sometimes very intense, and localized in the same tooth or displaced to other locations of the head.

– The tooth may change color.

– A phlegmon appears.

– The patient may have general malaise and even fever.

Endodontics step by step

After locally anesthetizing the area, a cavity is made to access the inside of the tooth. Then the root canals are cleaned and filled with a suitable material. Finally, a filling is placed. The use of radiographs will be necessary to perform the procedure. Depending on the previous state of the tooth and its anatomy, one or more sessions may be necessary. The important thing is that the intended objective of the treatment is achieved, although the professional will explain the particularities of the specific case.

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Endodontic treatment is not painful because it is performed under the effect of local anesthetics. Once the endodontic treatment is finished and the anesthesia has worn off, some discomfort may appear when chewing for a few days due to irritation of the periodontal tissue surrounding the root. In these cases, appropriate medication is required.

Care after endodontics

An endodontically treated tooth should be maintained with the same hygiene care, prevention and periodic check-ups as any other tooth. It should be taken into account that due to the individual circumstances of each patient in terms of health, hygiene, bruxist habits or inadequate clenching, among other factors, an endodontic tooth can suffer the same as the rest of the teeth, with the professional indicating in each specific case the most appropriate restoration for each situation with the aim of preventing fractures.