What is Endodontics?

What is Endodontics?

While it might sound like the end of dentistry, or possibly Armageddon starting with a trip to the dentist, the ‘endo’ bit of this word actually means ‘inside’ in Greek. So Endodontics is when your dentist is focusing on the inside of your teeth. For example, if you get a root canal treatment, or you injure the inside of your tooth in an accident and want to save the tooth, it would come under the heading of ‘endodontics’ and your bill or medical aid letter might have something like ‘endodontic procedure’ written on it.

While all dentists are trained in Endodontics procedures, at Loock Dental practice, we have a dentist, who has additional training in endodontics, so you know you are in particularly expert hands if you need this treatment, or have any complications from previous dental work and need re-treatment.

The primary goal of all Endodontics is to save the tooth from extraction if at all possible.

Why would you need a root canal treatment?

If you look at a picture of a cut in half length-wise, you’d see a layer of hard enamel on the outside, and then a softer inner core to the tooth. This is called the pulp and is the part of the tooth that Endodontics focusses on. If you get holes or cavities that pierce all the way through the enamel layer, then infections can start up in the softer inner pulp. Sometimes the infection spreads right through the inside of the tooth to the root and can form a painful abscess in the jaw bone underneath.

If this happens, both the inner pulp and outer enamel need to be thoroughly cleaned out and refilled to save the tooth and prevent the infection spreading, via the blood vessels inside the tooth into the rest of your body and affecting your overall health and well-being. In other words, treating the inside of your tooth if it gets infected isn’t just about having an attractive smile with all your own teeth, this is about preserving your health in general.

What to expect when you book a root canal treatment

You will first be given a local anaesthetic and your dentist will check to see if the area is numbed for the pain, as they will be treating you right through to the area where your nerves are inside the tooth. A root canal treatment can take just one appointment, unless there are any complications, such as an unusual tooth structure. Your root canal treatment can take place at your friendly dentist’s rooms, and does not require hospital time.

Root canal treatments and children

When children need a root canal for a milk tooth, things get a little more complicated. If a permanent tooth is already growing underneath the milk tooth, then there is a risk of damaging it in the process of fixing the milk tooth. However, root canal treatments can be done with great care if it is better to do this procedure rather than pulling out the milk tooth, which is acting as a place holder for the permanent tooth beneath it.

At Loock Dental, you are in safe hands and can expect excellent advice on how to proceed in your child’s best interests.

Getting help

Naturally, you would prefer prevention to cure, so you need to follow good hygiene practices. If things do go wrong, then you know that your friendly dentists at Loock Dental can help you out and get you feeling great and smiling once again! If you are feeling pain in your teeth, or even your ears or jaw, then you might need an appointment with your dentist, who will make a diagnosis and let you know if endodontic therapy is necessary.

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Marguerite MacRobert

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