What Is Endodontic Treatment and Why Would I Need an Endodontic Procedure?
If you suspect that your pulp is infected, an endodontic procedure may be the right choice for you. Endodontists are dental specialists who are experts in diagnosing and treating complex dental diseases, such as inflammation and infections that affect the pulp of your teeth. This type of infection can be caused by various factors, such as deep cavities, cracks, repeated dental treatments, or injuries. Endodontic procedures are beneficial for preserving your teeth from extraction, relieving discomfort, and maintaining a healthy smile. Talk to our dentist Dr. Larry Lu if you notice any symptoms of an infection. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We are located at 18640 Fraser Hwy #107, Surrey, BC V3S 7Y4, Canada.
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Endodontics is a more specialized area of dentistry, focusing less on the health of the gums, ensuring no plaque or tartar is building up on the teeth, or performing regular check-ups, but involves procedures that are used to treat problems within the pulp and the roots of the teeth.
Endodontic treatments are dental treatments that focus on restoring the pulp of the teeth, which includes blood vessels and nerves and is contained within the center of the tooth. These treatments will often end up being surgical and more invasive than what is typically offered at a normal dental appointment, being performed by endodontists rather than dentists as they are more experienced in treating the inner tissues of the tooth rather than caring for the dentin and surrounding components of the teeth. These treatments will typically involve removing damaged tissue from within the tooth to prevent further damage from occurring in the surrounding tissues.
Many general dentists will recommend that their patients visit an endodontist to receive endodontic treatments if they have developed an inflamed or infected tooth nerve or pulp. Inflammation and infection in the nerves of the teeth or within the pulp of the teeth can become incredibly painful and run the risk of spreading to surrounding tissue within the same tooth but also to the surrounding gums and bones. Endodontic treatments will work to remove the infected or inflamed tissue in order to prevent the infection from spreading and to effectively eliminate the pain that is being experienced. Without endodontic treatments, many patients will end up having to have the affected tooth extracted, so these treatments will often be recommended to save the natural tooth and to restore its structure.
The most common endodontic procedure is the root canal, often performed to save a natural tooth from needing to be extracted due to an infection or inflammation of the pulp of the tooth. A root canal involves removing all of the damaged tissue from the tooth and then sealing up the hole that was made to access the pulp of the tooth to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth and causing further damage. Another commonly performed endodontic procedure includes an apicoectomy, which is done when the tooth is too damaged to benefit effectively from a root canal. During an apicoectomy, an incision will be made into the gums so that the endodontist can access the root of the tooth to remove the infected tissue straight from the root to prevent the spread of infection throughout the surrounding gums and bones. It is also common for endodontists to perform surgery to repair cracked teeth, particularly cracks or fractures that leave the pulp of the tooth exposed to ensure that no tissue is left exposed to bacteria, eliminating the risk of infection.
If you visit your dentist complaining of excruciating pain in a tooth, incurred an injury to the mouth that may have severely cracked or chipped a tooth, resulting in the pulp or roots of the tooth being left exposed, or have significant damage or decay due to an infection that was left untreated, they will likely recommend that you seek medical attention from an endodontist. While many general dentists will have received proper training to perform straight-forward root canals, endodontists are specifically trained in performing more complex procedures and will likely have an increased capacity to perform a root canal much sooner than a typical dentist as they are better suited for performing dental surgeries, especially urgent dental surgeries.
While most endodontic treatments will result in life-long results with the intention of the procedure being a permanent solution, there are some rare cases in which the procedure may need to be repeated after several years. This is more common among those with reduced access to high-quality dental care or those who are unable to take proper care of their teeth following the procedure. The procedure itself will likely only take between 30 to 90 minutes to complete, with most patients recovering entirely within one week following the procedure. It is common to experience some discomfort following endodontic treatment, but the pain that was being caused by the infection and inflammation will be relieved immediately following the procedure.
For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We are located at 18640 Fraser Hwy #107, Surrey, BC V3S 7Y4, Canada. We serve patients in Surrey BC, Clayton BC, Cloverdale BC, Fleetwood BC, Newton BC, South Surrey BC, Langley BC, and surrounding areas.
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