Endodontics/root canal, is the dental treatment that is done within a tooth to alleviate pain and suffering caused by a diseased or infected tooth nerve. If you ever have or are now suffering from a severe toothache, it is usually a result of deep dental decay involving the nerve of a tooth. Sometimes, however, a tooth nerve can degenerate following direct trauma to your mouth like a blow to the face or head trauma in a car accident. Inflammation in the pulp chamber following these types of trauma often result in compromised blood flow to the nerve center of the tooth and the dental nerve dies (necrosis). If swelling is present around or next to the tooth the condition is diagnosed as an abscessed tooth. Until as recent as the mid nineteen hundreds, badly decayed teeth and abscessed teeth were extracted (removed from the Jaw). Root canal treatment helps save the decayed natural tooth without extracting it and is thus a wise option to maintain that radiant smile and enables you to more likely continue eating the foods you want. Thanks to the ever-evolving technology in the dental field, root canal therapy has become a sound dental procedure that helps treat discomfort caused by severe tooth decay. It can often be done in one to two hours depending on the complexity of the nerve canals. Most general dentists do root canals. A dentist that is called an "Endodontist" is a general dentist who has graduated from a graduate dental program specializing in all types of root canal treatments and of course in advanced techniques for complicated situations. If a general dentist feels endodontic treatment of a particular tooth is beyond his comfort level or expertise he may refer the patient to an Endodontist for endodontics. (Endo = in, dont = tooth, treatment) Now if you are asking yourself whats the difference between a root canal and endodontics, the answer is they are the same. A dentists talking to another dentist could describe a tooth needing an endodontic procedure as a tooth that needs "endo". Also a common misconception of many patients is that having endodontics/a root canal means taking out the roots of the tooth. Actually each root of a tooth can have one or more "root canals". These tiny, hard to find in some cases, canals are cleaned out using tiny round files the length of the tooth root. During the mechanical filing or cleansing process a lot of rinsing and disinfecting of the canal is done. Once cleaned out the canals are filled or sealed with an inert material.
Root canal therapy or endodontic treatment helps save your infected tooth rather than extraction of the tooth. Once the root canal treatment is done, your tooth can be restored and returned to a healthy condition and function like any other natural tooth. Almost always the dentist will build back up, with strong materials, the opened center of the tooth and a crown (cap) is placed over the treated tooth.
By undergoing endodontics to save an infected or decayed tooth, you can continue to eat and chew as you normally would, unlike a tooth extraction that typically lessens your ability to chew as well as used too. In some cases, although thee acute pain or tooth ache is gone following root canal treatment (endodontics), the bone around the tooth toots may be inflamed and infected. The dentist will often prescribe an antibiotic to help clear up the site of this infection. As healing takes place, you then can bite and chew foods without any discomfort naturally.
In most of the past history of the world the dreaded toothache was one of the most feared maladies know to man. Often before the days of antibiotics, people died from the complications of abscessed teeth. Quality of life is greatly compromised with chronic pain and infection.
The dental jawbone gives the face form and provides the base areas for attachment of the muscles that not only provide for chewing but also provide for facial expression. The extension of this bone provides tooth socket areas for the retention of our teeth. Commonly called the alveolar bone, this bone surrounds the roots of the upper and lower teeth. One main disadvantage that can be caused as a result of extracting teeth is the deterioration of this alveolar jawbone. Bone loss becomes accentuated over time. With multiple extraction sites, facial disfigurement occurs giving a person a much older appearance. Of course, multiple tooth loss has a detrimental effect on a persons ability to chew and obtain good nutrition. If one waits too long after tooth extraction, dental implants cannot be placed without bone grafting first, which is not always possible. When your infected or decayed tooth is saved with endodontics the jawbone remains intact.
Your overall health will be effected if you have severe tooth decay. Often, a person with abscessed teeth will also have gum disease. It has been medically shown that our immune system suffers from the presence of virulent(bad) bacteria in our bodies coming from tooth decay, abscessed teeth and gum disease. Many common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and other health conditions can be exacerbated. Thus, an infected tooth can be a serious threat to your well-being. Getting it treated endodontically can help improve your oral health that helps boost your overall health.