What Is Endodontics? What You Need to Know About How It Is Revolutionizing Patient Care

Better patient care with endodontics.

You’ve likely heard of endodontics, but may not realize what this branch of dentistry involves. Endodontic care focuses on the pulp tissue inside teeth, along with the tissue surrounding tooth roots. Endodontic treatments are highly effective at saving natural teeth in cases of serious decay and infection, providing the best immediate and long-term outcomes for your oral health.

The Essence of Endodontics

Endodontics encompasses a variety of procedures surrounding the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of health concerns related to dental pulp. This also includes taking care of a variety of other parts of the tooth, such as the odontoblasts at the interface between the dentin and the pulp.

These tissues face a variety of risks related to tooth decay and gum disease. Both are caused by bacteria in the mouth that can grow out of control when poor oral hygiene, a sugary diet, or other factors are present. These bacteria secrete acid that wears away enamel to cause tooth decay, eventually working through the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp within.

Once the pulp is exposed, the sensitive tissue can quickly become infected. This leads to sensitivity and pain and the potential for the infection to spread to other tissues. Such infections often lead to an abscessed tooth, where a painful pocket forms around the roots of a tooth. If it weren’t for endodontic treatment, extraction would be the only option available.

Instead, endodontic treatment, such as root canal therapy, can help treat infection and provide preventive care in specific cases. Carefully removing the pulp tissue makes it possible to keep the natural tooth without the severe risk of infection and other complications down the line.

Technological Advances in Endodontics

While root canal therapy itself has been practiced for some time, a variety of modern innovations have greatly improved the impact and scope of endodontic treatment. Today, new technologies for diagnosis and planning, along with entirely new treatment options, provide even better patient outcomes.

3D imaging technology lets your dentist better evaluate your teeth and assess potential endodontic issues. Options such as cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) can evaluate soft tissue, rather than traditional X-rays that only detail bone tissue. Modern solutions also improve resolution and accuracy, making planning the best course of treatment much easier for any given case.

The tools used in endodontic treatment have come a long way, too. Carrying out procedures within the teeth and into the root canals is an incredibly precise task. These are tight spaces that require the highest level of accuracy and precision. 

Root canal therapy relies on files and other tools to remove tissue and prepare the space for filling material. Today, manufacturing these tools in materials such as, nickel-titanium alloy, allow them to be even more compact and maneuverable.

New methods for irrigation and disinfection in endodontics further help reduce the risk of infection after root canal treatment or other surgeries. The space within a root canal is so small that applying disinfectant to remove and inhibit bacteria is a real challenge. Modern solutions deliver exceptional results in terms of long-term infection prevention.

The Impact on Patient Care

Endodontics has a profound impact on patient care and outcomes. It allows patients to find relief from tooth pain and other symptoms of serious decay and infection. Pain and sensitivity can cause a wide range of issues, including difficulty eating, which can lead to nutritional issues. Endodontic treatment restores quality of life in these cases.

Without endodontic treatment options, the only solution in these cases would be extraction. In any area of dentistry, retaining natural teeth is typically a top goal. While extractions are sometimes necessary to safeguard long-term oral health, endodontic treatment greatly reduces the number of cases where it is required.

Being able to keep the tooth improves long-term oral health in a variety of ways. First, it ensures that surrounding teeth don’t drift into the gap left behind. This would create misalignment and orthodontic issues that could require braces or other treatment down the line. If the tooth had to be extracted, options such as dental bridges or dental implants would be necessary to prevent that outcome.

Saving the tooth also provides further benefits for the patient. You can continue to enjoy the beautiful appearance of your natural smile. You’ll also avoid any potential adjustment in eating or speaking associated with replacement teeth. Relying on endodontics to save the tooth delivers the best outcome on all fronts.

Endodontic treatments can provide the relief you need.

Endodontics addresses the pain, discomfort, and inhibited function caused by serious tooth decay and infection. You can find the care you need from your trusted family dentist near Virginia Beach. King Dental provides advanced endodontic treatment, including root canal treatments and other procedures to protect your oral health. Schedule a consultation today to find out whether endodontic treatment is right for you.

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