What is endodontics?
The part of dentistry that deals with the study, pathology and treatment of dental pulp, from associated injuries, complications and sequelae of previous endodontic treatments, and malformations of the teeth.
Cavities, dental trauma and periodontal disease are the most common reasons why the dental pulp is irreversibly damaged. When this happens, the only alternative for the conservation of the tooth is to remove the diseased or necrotic pulp, sealing as tight as possible the space created.
Endodontics is to ‘kill the nerve’?
In nineteenth century dentistry, there existed a procedure based on the local application of arsenic trioxide, with the end result being to cause an aseptic necrosis of the pulp, effectively ‘killing the nerve’, and thereby mitigating the pain of pulpal inflammation. This type of treatment was dangerous however and could cause the aseptic necrosis to end up septic, consequently, the practice of this method was discontinued, but the term ‘kill the nerve’ remained. Currently it is known as endodontics, root canal or pulp therapy.
When is an endodontic necessary?
In those cases where there has been irreversible damage to the pulp, either by decay, trauma, associated periodontal disease etc. Or that it is expected to be irreversibly damaged during the course of treatments such as maxillary surgery or extensive restorations.
Are endodontic treatments dangerous?
No, root canal treatments are not very aggressive procedures. In the vast majority of cases they are much less aggressive then their alternative, extraction.
Do endodontics have any contraindications?
Like all treatments there are some contraindications, which you will be informed of by your dentist.
Does root canal treatment require many sessions?
No, most cases can be resolved in just one appointment.
Are endodontic treatments successful?
In general, the treatments have good outcomes, approximately 85% of cases are successfully resolved. However, given the great complexity of the root canal system, sometimes a thorough cleaning and shaping is not possible.
Is it always necessary to see a specialist in Endodontics?
No, most treatments can be successfully performed by a general dentist.
Does root canal treatment last forever?
Root canal therapy or endodontic sealing is effective as long as the pulp chamber space is sealed and kept free of germs. It is generally accepted that root canal treatment will last as long as the rebuilt tooth, with the failure of this restoration being the leading cause of later failure of endodontics.