The central role of endodontics in saving teeth

woman having her teeth clean

According to research statistics, 74% of adults in Britain have had a minimum of one tooth extracted. Although teeth are extracted for a number of reasons, in many instances, teeth are removed due to extensive decay.  Endodontics in Birmingham is the area in dentistry dedicated to saving teeth that are at risk of infections at root level. Root canal treatments are performed when there is evidence of tooth decay, problems with fillings and also when trauma to the face has caused damage to teeth that are beyond repair.

Common symptoms that may indicate the presence of infection deep into the inner layers of the tooth structure include tooth sensitivity (twinges when eating foods or drinking liquids that are either hot or cold), discomfort when chewing and also if there is a loose tooth. A dental X-ray image is often used by dental practitioners to confirm that there is an infection present.

How infections are treated at pulp level

dentist and nurse performing a dental procedure

When bacteria enter the tooth at pulp level, all of it must be removed by the finely honed skills of a dental practitioner.  A patient cannot treat this particular type of bacterial infection by taking antibiotics medication.  The bacteria have to be removed and this is effectively done through a root canal procedure. Seeing that the procedure takes place below the tooth’s surface, the patient will receive a local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort.

To remove the infection the dental practitioner will have to remove the pulp tissue at the centre of the tooth. The inner tooth is accessed through the crown. Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and then filled and sealed to keep the tooth from being reinfected.

Depending on the extent of the infection and how many roots the affected tooth has (some types of teeth have more than one root), more than one dental appointment may be required to completely save the tooth.

To further protect the teeth, a dental practitioner may have to attach a crown or cap on top of the tooth. Sometimes a tooth that is root-filled may have a greater chance of breaking and a cap will help against fracture. Crowns are made from a variety of suitable materials including porcelain, ceramic, metal and powdered glass. Before a crown can be made, the dental practitioner will have a mould made of the tooth so that it matches the remaining teeth in terms of shape and size.

Root canal treatment is considered to be highly successful in saving a tooth, with the tooth providing upwards of 10 years of service. Without the interventions of an endodontist, the bacteria responsible for the infection may increase and spread throughout the different layers of the tooth. This will result in additional symptoms such as inflammation around the gum area or the discharge of pus at the affected tooth.

As is the case with numerous dental issues, seeking timely dental care to treat a dental infection is critical to saving a tooth. Patients who exhibit signs of tooth infections whether this be tooth sensitivity or gum inflammation are urged to contact their dental practice as soon as possible to receive quick relief from their symptoms.

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