We all know our general dentist and usually see them twice a year at your biannual appointment. You go in, get your teeth cleaned, maybe have x-rays taken, talk to your dentist and then you are sent on your way for another six months. But what about those of us that need more than just a general cleaning? There are many different branches in the dental world. Endodontics is one of those branches and is offered at your Port Orange dental office.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with diseases and injuries of the soft tissues inside a tooth. The inside of your tooth contains tooth pulp, tissues, nerves, and arterioles. Dentists will attend general dental training and then afterward complete further schooling to become an endodontist. General dentists will often refer you to an endodontist to because of the extensive training they have done. As a Port Orange endodontist, the main procedure they perform is called a root canal. Some signs and symptoms showing you may have endodontic problems are:
- Inflammation and tenderness in the gums
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot/cold foods
- Tenderness when chewing and biting
- Tooth discoloration
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, get in touch with your local Port Orange endodontist for a consultation. You don’t want to let the problem get worse potentially causing you even bigger issues down the road. The longer you wait, the less likely your endodontist will be able to save your tooth. Most dentists agree that there is no substitute for healthy, natural teeth.
Why You May Need Endodontic Treatment
There are many reasons to lead to endodontic treatment but the main cause is the tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected. Ways your inner tooth can become damaged are:
- Bacterial Infections: Bacteria invades the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the teeth caused by tooth decay or injury. The bacteria then causes inflammation and infection which jeopardizes the health of the affected tooth. At times it may even cause an abscess to form.
- Fractures and Chips: When a section of your tooth crown becomes detached or cracked, it leaves the pulp exposed. This can be very painful and also lead to infection.
- Injuries: When you receive a direct blow to your mouth, it can dislodge teeth. The endodontist can stabilize the injured tooth and then perform root canal therapy to help save the tooth. If a tooth completely comes out of the socket, quick action must be taken to help preserve the tooth. Rinse the tooth and your mouth and place back in the socket if possible. If not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk, this will help keep the inner tooth moist and alive on the way to the dentist. Often times the tooth can be saved. Your endodontist will affix it to the socket using a special splint, and then perform root canal therapy to save the tooth.
The Process of Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment consists of extracting the inner tooth structure, replacing it with an inert material, then sealing the gap with a crown. This treatment has a high success rate of restoring the health and functionality to your damaged tooth. Receiving root canal therapy from your Port Orange endodontist generally takes between one to three visits to fully complete the treatment. During the first visit, you will have x-rays taken to fully assess the damage and make a plan for treatment.
Once treatment has been planned and scheduled, the root canal therapy will begin. A local anesthetic will be administered first. Your endodontist in Port Orange will then create an opening in the surface of the tooth. The pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments. Once the pulp is completely removed, the open space will be cleaned and then filled with what is called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material, somewhat similar to rubber. Cement is then applied to the top to completely seal it off, with a temporary filling placed on top. During the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed to fully restore the functionality of the tooth.
If you suffer from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, be sure to reach out to your local Port Orange endodontist as soon as possible. You want to be able to get into the office quickly for a higher chance of saving your tooth. Oral health is very important to take care of and is critical to your overall wellbeing. Don’t wait for endodontic treatment.