The best way to prevent endodontic problems is to treat the caries timely Dr. Joan Bladé
Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with diseases of pulp tissue, that is situated inside of the teeth roots and consists mainly of nerves and blood vessels.
The treatment consists of the removal of the damaged pulp, disinfection and following canal filling, avoiding the loss of the corresponding tooth. Among the most common reasons of the disease or death of the pulp are: fractured teeth, injures and advanced caries.
Endodontics manages the diseases of the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the name of the soft tissue that passes through a canal or canals in the middle of the root or roots of a tooth. The pulp mainly consists of the nerves and blood vessels and its function is to provide nutrition for a developing tooth and to provide sensorial feedback for an erupting tooth.
How is the nerve affected?
The most common reason for the damaged pulp is the advanced (deep) caries that reaches the pulp. Other causes of the pulp damage include teeth injures, a fallen out dental filling that causes caries, excessive wear of the teeth and gum disease. These processes may lead to infection and death of the pulp.
The infection may later propagate through the opening at the end of the tooth’s root to the adjacent bone, resulting in an abscess which can be very painful and cause inflammation. This abscess can be seen on an x-ray of the teeth.
The symptoms of the dental infection are painful to a patient especially at night, pain when biting down on the tooth, hot sensitivity, discoloration of the tooth and swelling and pain in the gums around the tooth. Curiously sometimes it is possible that the patient doesn’t have any symptoms of an infected tooth, and this is why the regular dental check-ups are important to identify and treat such teeth before the symptoms appear.
The treatment of the infected tooth is made through the root canal treatment that involves cleaning of the infected pulp and filling the empty root canal with a permanent seal. The canal treatment should be initiated and completed as soon as possible in order to avoid the possible infection around the tooth from spreading and causing a more generalized and potentially grave infection of the whole body, that can be seen in such signs as facial swelling and fever that in some occasions may require hospitalization. The localization of the propagation of the abscess is also very important, and if not treated it can cause the loss of the supporting bone around the tooth and eventually the loss of the tooth.
Those patients who already have inflammation and fever may need to take antibiotics. Antibiotics are not a substitute for the root canal therapy, because the blood supply does not reach the interior of the infected tooth so they can not eliminate the infection. The purpose of the antibiotics is to stop an infection outside of the tooth from spreading and to help the body fight the already existing infection.
We use the latest endodontic techniques
All the root canals of the affected tooth should be treated. Front teeth (incisor and canine teeth) and premolar teeth usually have one or two canals. Molar teeth usually have three or four canals. The canal treatment can be done during several visits, usually two or three.
After the nerve treatment it is necessary to perform a tooth reconstruction. The treated teeth tend to dry out and become fragile, and thus prone to fractures when chewing. Reconstructed teeth that have been subject of the endodontic therapy are more likely to fracture. The general recommendation for teeth after such therapy is to place a ceramic crown in order to protect the tooth.
Is there any alternative to this treatment?
The only alternative way to eliminate the infection is to extract the tooth. Then if your tooth has not been replaced with an artificial one, the adjacent teeth will shift, interfering with biting and chewing. The loss of a tooth may cause many other complex problems, including the periodontal disease, decay of other teeth, degenerative disease of the jaw joint or problems with the jaw muscles.