Endodontics: Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy (or endodontic therapy) is the last chance of restoring damaged teeth before considering its extraction.
When do dentists start considering this treatment? Whenever the pulp (the inner soft tissue that keeps teeth alive) is affected by bacteria, generally due to long-standing dental cavities or severe dental trauma.
It is important to remember that root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it.
There are different types of endodontic therapy. The most common ones are:
● Root Canal Treatment
This therapy aims to get rid of all the infected tissue. For this purpose, the dentist needs to access the tooth's inner canals, the root to extirpate the affected pulp. Once the tissue is removed, the canals are deeply cleaned with antimicrobial substances.
Then, using gutta-percha, a biocompatible material, the dentist fills and seals the canals. When the treatment is completed, the tooth's crown is restored with a filling or a porcelain crown.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment will ensure an Efficient chewing and normal painfree biting.
● Endodontic Retreatment
Sometimes, no matter how successful the treatment might seem, root canal therapy fails in the long run. There are many reasons why this may happen, but the most frequent causes are:
Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.
In these cases, dentists have no choice but to repeat the treatment. If you are experiencing dental pain in an endodontically treated tooth, you should immediately get in contact with a specialist to get the tooth assessed.
● Endodontic Microsurgery
In some particular cases, dentists turn to microsurgical endodontic procedures to save severely affected teeth. The most common one is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection. This kind of surgery is indicated when there is persistent inflammation or infection in the bone tissue around the end of a tooth that has been previously treated with root canal therapy.
In this microsurgical procedure, the endodontist gains access to the infected bone by making an incision in the gums. Once the dentist has a clear vision of the affected area, the bone tissue is carefully removed, together with the very end of the root.
The exposed root canal is sealed with a special filling, and few stitches or sutures are placed in the gums.
A specialist endodontist will use advanced technologies like digital imaging and operating microscopes to perform surgeries quickly, comfortably and successfully.
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