What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is the part of dentistry that deals with the inner portion of your tooth which is commonly called the nerve. By far the most common endodontic procedure is a root canal treatment (RCT) or root filling. This procedure involves your dentist removing the inflamed, infected nerve from inside your tooth, carefully cleansing the tooth and placing a root filling material into the root. This means that the root is sealed from your mouth and no infection can enter your jaw through the tooth.
Endodontic procedures have evolved a great deal in the last few years, and it is now possible to predictably treat and save a tooth that years ago would have required extraction.
The first stage of an endodontic procedure is for your dentist to carefully evaluate your tooth to ensure that endodontics is the best treatment option for you. Dental x-rays will be taken as part of this evaluation process so that your dentist can look under the surface of your tooth to assess the bone and structures of the root.
The second stage involves numbing your tooth with a local anaesthetic, your dentist will then remove any filling in your tooth and use a special drill to expose the nerve. This will be entirely painless. Your dentist will remove the infected nerve and will cleanse and shape the canals in your root so that an ideal root filling can be placed. Your dentist will put a special antiseptic into your tooth and then put in a temporary filling. You will then wait a week or two to have the root filling completed.
Finally, your dentist will place a special root filling material into your root canals and then put a filling in your tooth. It is often the case that your tooth will require extra protection from fracture and so often a crown will be the best way to achieve this protection in the longer term.