Endodontics in Elkin, NC
Endodontists are specialists who deal with the tissues and structures found inside of teeth. Root canal therapy is the most common endodontic treatment delivered by endodontists and dentists.
Root canal treatment relieves pain and stops infection. This is achieved by removing dead tissue from within the tooth. It also helps save a diseased tooth from extraction.
Root canals are the most common endodontic treatment, but are not the only specialty performed by dentists and dental specialists. Endodontists specialize in dental trauma and microsurgery to eliminate pain and improve healing. General dentists manage oral health care overall, which may include root canal procedures.
The Inside Story
What is inside of your teeth?
The tough enamel of the tooth covers sturdy inner tissue called dentin. Dentin actually makes up the bulk of tooth structure. This tissue is similar to bone and is made up of many tiny canals used to transmit information to nerve cells.
Dental pulp can be located at the core of the tooth. The canals found in dentin are the source of the name “root canal” and lead to dental pulp. Pulp consists of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Pulp extends from the roots of the tooth to the very center of the tooth.
When infection and inflammation develop in dental pulp, it can cause sensitivity and pain. Endodontists are dentists who focus on diagnosing the root cause of pain.
Root canals performed by specialists in diagnosing and treating pulp and the surrounding tissue are considered the ideal route toward saving the tooth showing signs of inflammation and infection.
The “Root” of the Problem
Dental pulp becomes diseased and inflamed primarily by tooth decay. When a tooth is decayed, bacteria from the surface can travel deep inside the tooth. Cracked and fractured teeth provide another pathway for bacteria to invade pulp. Years of advanced decay almost always results in the need for endodontic intervention.
Traumatic dental injuries (think sports injuries and other high-contact activities) can also damage dentin and pulp and result in infection. Extensive dental procedures have even led to root canal issues.
What Is Endodontics?
Root canal problems are no joke and general dentists work hard to make sure their patients avoid root canals as much as possible. Endodontic therapy is used to repair damaged teeth and effectively removes the infected or inflamed pulp to reduce pain and discomfort and reduce the risk of tooth extraction and subsequent procedures.
Whether performed by someone with years of advanced education or training beyond dental school, or a professional with years of training from dental school, endodontic therapy offers relief. The American Association of Endodontists supports evidence-based practices to properly diagnose and treat tooth pain and perform root canals to effectively save natural teeth.
What to Expect from Endodontic Therapy
Endodontic therapy begins with anesthesia. For some patients, this is the worst part of the procedure. Specialized techniques allow endodontists to create a small opening in the tooth surface to access root canals and the tooth’s pulp chamber. Tiny instruments are then inserted to remove dead and dying tissue from the canals.
These small passages are then cleaned and disinfected. Once they are clean and sterilized, they are filled with a safe material to close the passages. The root canal procedure ends when the tooth is sealed to save teeth from additional decay or damage.
Other endodontic treatments may be recommended for damaged teeth. These procedures will remove sources of infection and avoid future issues with decay and inflammation. At the conclusion of your endodontic procedure, for instance, you will likely need a crown placed on the tooth. Crowns restore teeth to full function and aesthetic appearance. The restored tooth should last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
The term “root canal” often inspires a sense of dread. Root canals are not as painful as once thought and many common concerns are unfounded.
Root canals may be necessary for baby teeth that have decayed or become infected. Primary teeth are important guides for permanent teeth and should be saved whenever possible.