What are Endodontics?
Whenever a tooth gets injured or infected such that it becomes non-vital, it is managed by treating the pulp. Endodontics usually, involves removal (partial or complete) of the nerves and other tissues of the pulp cavity and their replacement with a proper filling material. This process is named as pulp therapy; the most common of which is root canal treatment.
The treatment provided by the Endodontists helps you keep your natural smile, and you can continue eating the foods you enjoy by limiting the need for an artificial replacement of the affected tooth.
Endodontic treatment is such a breakthrough in dental science that if met with proper oral care and hygiene it can conserve the teeth treated with pulp therapy for either as long as the other natural teeth or lifetime.
Pulp therapy involves a lot of procedures which can be broadly classified as vital pulp therapy (partial removal of infected pulp tissue) and non-vital pulp therapy (total removal of infected or injured pulp tissue). The main aim of all of these procedures is to save the natural tooth.
The Vital pulp therapy comprises of:
1. Direct Pulp Capping
It is a technique used to prevent dental pulp from dying, whenever its exposure occurs, either due to caries reaching to the pulp chamber or accidentally, during caries removal. In the direct pulp capping, a medicament or sealant is placed directly over the exposed part of the pulp to save the tooth from becoming dead.
2. Indirect Pulp Capping
This process is used when most of the decayed part of the tooth has been removed from a deep cavity, and a layer of softened dentin is deliberately left and is not removed to prevent the exposure of the pulp.
If performed correctly, the indirect pulp capping is more successful in maintaining the long-term vitality of the tooth than direct pulp capping.
It is defined as the complete removal of the coronal pulp, that is, the pulp present in the crown part of a tooth and leaving the pulp in the root portion of the tooth as such. Whenever the pulp present in the crown (pulp chamber) of the tooth gets infected, inflamed and becomes non-vital then to save the root pulp, the pulpotomy is performed so that there remains vitality in the tooth.
After removing coronal pulp, a suitable medicament or dressing is placed over the area which will promote healing and also preserves tooth vitality. It is usually performed in primary or deciduous teeth.
Non-vital pulp therapy includes:
Root Canal Treatment (also known as pulpectomy)
A root canal is a method used to restore and save a tooth that is severely decayed or infected. During a root canal procedure, the whole pulp from the tooth is removed and then the inner or central portion of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. The sealing is done with a rubber-like material known as Gutta Percha. Ultimately, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection.
Without treatment, the tissues adjacent to the tooth will become infected, and abscesses may form, which may not only cause problems to the tooth but also to the surrounding areas.
The procedure of root canal can be done in a single sitting or multiple visits, depending on the severity and level of infection of the tooth.
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