Dental endodontics refers to one of the dental healthcare specialties which deals with the care of the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. Some of the procedures performed by endodontists include root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment, treatment of cracked teeth, surgery, as well as treatment of dental trauma. Among these the most common procedure is root canal therapy. After these procedures are performed endodontic therapy is done and it involves the removal of nerve tissues, bloods vessels and other cellular entities, as well as the cleaning, decontamination, and shaping of hollows with the help of tiny files.
Root canals are synonymous with dental endodontics; the procedure involves the removal of pulp tissues which is referred to as pulpectomy. It is done in situations where the tooth is deemed as threatened due to decay or cracking and also where it is considered that future infection is highly likely. In order to cure the infection and save the tooth the dentist drills into the pulp chamber, removes the infected pulp, and afterwards drills the nerve out of the root canal using a long needle-shaped drill. After removal of nerves and blood supply from the tooth it advisable that the tooth is fitted with a crown.
Filling is done after removal of the pulp tissue and the standard filling material is gutta-percha i.e. a non-elastic latex that is obtained from the Percha tree. Root canal was previously considered to be one of the most painful dental endodontics techniques mainly due to the presence of the painful abscesses that necessitate the procedure. However, advances in the medical field have made it a more or less painless procedure as the pain can now be controlled with a local anesthetic during the procedure and the use of pain control medication afterwards.
Once the root canal is complete the tooth can be protected with a crown which will cover the cusps of the tooth. Root canal procedure teeth tend to be more brittle than teeth that have not been treated in this way and hence it is necessary to take extra care of them. Placement of a cusp or crown seals the tooth and thus ensuring that the tooth remains intact for longer. Many people believe that teeth treated with a root canal cannot suffer decay; such teeth are predisposed to the same threats as the others and hence normal dental hygiene practices should be applied to all the teeth. Dental endodontics is as such an important specialty of dental healthcare as it encompasses the diagnosis and surgery as well as therapy of infected teeth.