What is an endodontic procedure?
Inside every healthy and vital tooth there is a pulp (a plexus of nerves and blood vessels). It nourishes the tooth and it stimulates the sensation of hot and cold. In case the pulp is damaged by a bacterial infection, trauma, tooth fracture, etc. it needs to be removed from the tooth. This procedure is called endodontic therapy. The purpose of the therapy is to remove the damaged pulp from the tooth in order to stop the spread of infection into neighboring areas of the tissue, the periodontium and the bone.
Is the procedure painful?
The treatment is conducted with a local anesthetic and is completely painless. After the anesthetic wears off, the use of analgetics is advised.
How is the procedure done?
The canals are thoroughly cleaned of the residual inflamed tissue and disinfected to reduce the number of pathogen micro-organisms. The more thorough the procedure, the greater are the chances for successful treatment. It is extremely important to determine the length of the root canal by using a device called an endometer to measure them. Since the system of root canals can be very diverse, from simple to very intricate (bent canals of different diameter), it is absolutely necessary to perform X-ray imaging before and after the procedure to ensure proper control. The canals are processed with different needles, either by hand or using the Ni-Ti (nickel-titanium) rotary instruments. After it has been processed and cleaned it is necessary to hermetically seal the canal. We fill them with sealing paste and gutta-percha sticks. Simpler canals can be processed and sealed during a single visit, whereas the complex multiple root teeth may take two or three visits to process and seal. The final goal is to get a hermetically sealed, water and airtight canal.
Post op care
Since the majority of treated teeth have a severely damaged crown, after the filling is in its place, it is common to set a intracanal post (parapulpal pin) and reconstruct the tooth with composite filling. If the majority of the crown is missing, the composite filling can be too large to withstand the force of mastication and there is high probability of tooth fracture. To avoid such a thing from happening we recommend that a ceramic crown is made. This will allow the tooth to remain useful and functional. Although the whole procedure might seem very complex, our goal is to make it as comfortable as possible. We want to keep every natural tooth. Tooth extraction is our last resort, an extreme measure which entails a whole range of consequences (atrophy, loss of function, compromised aesthetics). In the end, endodontic treatment is far more favorable than tooth extraction or replacing the tooth with an implant.