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Endodontics

Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the complex structures found inside the teeth. The Greek word “Endodontics” literally means “inside the tooth,” and relates to the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves, and arterioles.

Introduction

Historically, a tooth with a diseased nerve would be removed immediately, but endodontists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases. Generally, extracting the inner tooth structures, then sealing the resulting gap with a crown, restores health and functionality to damaged teeth.

Endodontists receive additional dental training after completing dental school to enable them to perform both complex and simple procedures, including root canal therapy.

What does an endodontic procedure involve?

Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins. Initially, a local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments.

The space will now be shaped, cleaned, and filled with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material that is somewhat similar to rubber. Cement will be applied on top to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed off. Usually, a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure. During the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed. If you have questions or concerns about endodontic procedures, please ask us.