Endodontics is an area within dentistry which maintains and treats the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the dental pulp that is made up of living connective tissue, nerves, and cells. Our Redwood City dental office specializes in endodontic therapy such as root canal procedures can save teeth that suffer from deep decay, cracks, fractures, narrow or blocked canals, and abscess. We can also diagnose oral and facial pain and perform surgical procedures when necessary.
Why Would A Tooth Need Endodontic Treatment Such As A Root Canal?
Inside the tooth, beneath the hard layers of enamel and dentin, is a soft tissue called the dental pulp, which contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels, that support the growth of the surrounding hard tissues during its development. Endodontics procedures are necessary when the dental pulp of a tooth becomes infected or diseased. An infected tooth can be attributed to a variety of causes including decay, repeated dental procedures, cracks, chips, etc. If left untreated, a damaged tooth can cause moderate to severe pain and lead to an abscess. The most common treatment in endodontics performed by dentists is root canal therapy. During a root canal procedure, we will remove the diseased pulp from inside the tooth, carefully clean the root canal spaces and then seal the prepared canals with special filling materials.
Some Of The Signs I May Have That Might Require an Endodontics Treatment.
The more obvious signs of dental pulp damage can include moderate to severe pain, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods, swelling, tenderness of the gums, and/or discoloration of one or more teeth. However, in some cases, the symptoms are virtually nonexistent. When dental pulp degenerates, and may only be detected by a dental examination and x-rays, which is why consistent dental checkups are imperative in maintaining good oral health. In other cases, individuals who experience toothaches find it difficult to pinpoint the source of the pain. There is a vast and complicated network of nerves in the mouth, and in these cases, the pain of a diseased or damaged tooth often is felt in another tooth, in the head, neck, or ear.
Are There Alternatives To Endodontics Treatment?
In most cases, the only alternative to endodontics treatment is the complete removal of an infected tooth. The extracted tooth then has to be replaced with a bridge, implant or removable denture to restore the ability to chew, bite, eat and speak normally, and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Tooth replacements can be effective, but often require surgery or extensive dental procedures on the surrounding healthy teeth, and can be far more time and costly than an endodontic procedure. If possible, it is always recommended to restore and preserve natural teeth.
Treatments vary for each individual depending on the severity of their infection and how much inflammation exists. For the majority of cases, root canal procedures can be completed in one or two appointments. We are well versed in endodontics use state of the art technology such as digital imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation, operating microscopes and fiber optics, to treat our patients quickly and with as little discomfort as possible. Whether you have experienced a traumatic dental injury or have a tooth that has corroded over time, let us help alleviate the pain or discomfort you may be suffering from and restore your smile.