Endodontics Is Root Canal Therapy To Save Infected Teeth
Endodontics is about using minimally-invasive and painless root canal therapy (often just called a “root canal”) to save infected roots of teeth so they don’t need to be extracted.
Signs that the root of the tooth or canal (whose hollow core is filled with nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue known as the pulp) may have become infected can include a toothache, swollen gums around a tooth, swelling of the face adjacent to a tooth, pain when you chew, or sensitivity of a tooth when you eat or drink something hot or cold.
Infections can result from poor brushing and flossing habits, cracked roots that have become calcified due to aging, trauma to the face that fractures a tooth, and complex individual tooth anatomy, with over 14 million root canals performed each year.
Since these canals or hollow channels connect the teeth to the jaw, the infection can spread and jaw bone can be lost, leading to the tooth loosening and eventually falling out or needing to be extracted. Unless the gap is filled by a dental implant or bridge, the teeth will gradually become misaligned because they naturally begin to lean towards the gap to fill it themselves. This creates spaces where food can be trapped and hard to clean, leading to periodontal (gum) disease and further loss of teeth. This is why so many older people end up wearing dentures.
A specialist, an endodontist, such as the one at Wilshire Smile Studio, can use an operating microscope, ultrasonic instrumentation, and 3-D CT scans to do the most sophisticated micro-surgery to prevent all this happening by injecting a local anesthetic, drilling into the tooth, cleaning out the infected tissue, sterilizing the area and filling it with a medicated artificial pulp, then sealing the tooth. Sometimes a dental crown is placed over the tooth to strengthen it.
About 90% of initial root canal procedures are successful, but complicated and advanced cases, including difficulty thoroughly cleaning out canals in teeth located at the back of the mouth and under crowns and bridges, can require retreatment or even amputation of the root to stop the infection. All these procedures are painless and you can drive home afterwards. If your natural tooth is saved, you will not require further expense on a dental implant or bridge and our dental team will show you how to care for the healing tooth and to prevent infection of other teeth.
If you have any of the signs of a possible root canal infection or just want an examination to determine the status of your dental health so you can anticipate future needs, as well as to learn how to improve your oral health habits, call Wilshire Smile Studio for an appointment now: 323-DENTIST (336-8478).