What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a special branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of problems that occur inside of the tooth. It deals with the problems of the dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of a tooth. The pulp is located at the center of the tooth and contains a collection of blood vessels and nerves.
Endodontic treatment is also called root canal treatment or therapy. Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is a procedure in which the infected pulp or tissue is removed and the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.
When is Endodontic or Root Canal Treatment required?
Endodontic treatment is required when an infection travels inside the tooth and reaches the dental pulp and root. Infection occurs due to trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, and chips, or repeated dental procedures. The pulp infection leads to the injury of nerves that are located in the hollow canal of the root. If this pulp infection is left untreated, it can lead to the formation of an abscess that can result in the loss of bone in the jaw.
What are the symptoms of pulp/tooth infection?
Symptoms of a pulp infection include:
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Deep decay or cavity
- Severe pain in the tooth and gums
- Swelling of the gums
- Sensitivity to temperature (hot and cold)
- Foul smell or taste around the affected tooth
- Trouble chewing or opening the mouth
- Visible injury or trauma to the tooth
The procedure of Root Canal Therapy
Root canal procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the patient remains comfortable throughout treatment. Damaged tooth structure is removed and access is created to the root canal. Next, the infected pulp is removed and the canal is shaped to accept a filling material. The shaped canal is sterilized and sealed with a natural material called gutta-percha to prevent further infection. A dental crown may or may not be placed on the tooth for protection and appearance.
Advantages of Root Canal Therapy by Dr. Michael Lum
- Natural tooth structure is preserved
- No need for artificial bridges or crowns
- Improves the appearance of your tooth
- Enhances the overall well-being and health of the person
Save your natural teeth and don’t be afraid of the root canal or endodontic treatment. If you would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (408)262-1710 or visit Dr. Michael Lum at his family and cosmetic dental office in Milpitas, CA.