The term “Endodontics” is the branch of dentistry that deals with diseases related to the dental pulp. It is the process of removing the diseased nerve inside the tooth. It is also commonly referred to as the Root Canal Procedure (RCT).
The nerve of the tooth runs like a thread down the center of the root and it contains the blood vessels and nerve endings. The dentist uses tiny instruments or reamers to clean out that soft tissue. The canal space is then filled with a rubber material to create a seal.
Patients who suffer from dental pulp infection will need to attend an endodontic consultation with their dentist. Here are some signs to watch out for:
* Toothaches that can range anywhere from mild to moderate to so severe that it stops you from functioning normally.
* Sensitivity to icy cold food or drinks
* Discolored or grayish teeth
* Sometimes there is no pain at all
Usually when any of these signs are noticed, the dentist starts by taking films, and conducts diagnostic testing of the pulp and on the nerves of the tooth to make sure that root canal treatment is in fact the problem.
The most common causes of damaged or diseased dental pulp are deep cavities, trauma, deep fillings or a cracked tooth. What happens when a tooth is traumatized is that it can sever the blood supply to the tooth leaving it to eventually die, just like any part of the body without blood supply. Once the nerve dies, it becomes colonized by bacteria rather quickly. Likewise with cracked teeth, the bacteria can usually get into the cracks, and over time as the crack progresses deeper and deeper into the tooth and eventually the bacteria and the toxins start causing disease in the nerve. Pain pills and antibiotics are also available as alternatives to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with root canal treatment, but they won’t correct the problem altogether.
Although the procedure of treating your root canal may sound quite complex to you right now, having an experienced and trained dentist by your side can significantly reduce any pain associated with the treatment. During the first few days following the treatment, your tooth may feel a bit sensitive. This discomfort can usually be relieved with prescription medications, and thanks to modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients are quite comfortable during the procedure.