You may have heard or read the word endodontics when looking for root canal treatment. Confusing? Endodontics is simply called, in layman’s term, root canal treatment or nerve treatment.
Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry.
"Endo" is the Greek word for "inside" and "odont" is Greek for "tooth", Endodontic treatment (involves) the inside of the tooth.
It is concerned with diagnosis, treatment and management of the dental pulp or nerve of the teeth. This includes the gums and bony tissue surrounding the tooth.
If your tooth is decayed, destroyed due to trauma, have large and deep fillings or when the tooth is about to be destroyed, inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tooth occurs. This condition affects the nerve of the tooth and then you’d feel a painful toothache. This condition is also called acute pulpitis. If this occurs, you’ll be given options to save your tooth. Would you want your tooth extracted or undergo a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a form of dental care and can be done on your temporary or permanent teeth. Its main aim is to save your teeth from extraction.
The Procedure of Saving your Tooth through Root Canal
Depending upon the condition of your tooth, root canal treatment may take more than one, usually three visits to your root canal specialist or endondontist. It is gradually done in stages.
On the first visit, your friendly dentist would explain to you the procedure then inspects the affected tooth. Dental x-rays are taken to determine the extent of decay or damage of the tooth.
Then, your dentist will drill an access hole on the tooth, clean the decay and extracts the infected pulp and nerves being careful to apply an antiseptic to kill remaining bacteria. The root canal should be kept sterile and dry and should be cleared of all infection. If the infection isn’t easily controlled your dentist gives you a prescription for antibiotics and the left open to drain for some days.
The second visit will entail applying a sealer paste and rubber compound type of filling inside the empty pulp and after root canal after it is clean and dried. It would be followed by an adhesive filling to ensure saliva doesn’t seep into the root canal.