Types of endodontics
6 November, 2018

What is endodontics?

Currently there are several specialties within dentistry, one of them is endodontics. This practice is dedicated to treating the inside of the tooth (endo – internal, dontics – tooth)

Endodontics: Basic principles

Endodontics is a specialty that treats the roots of the tooth (root canals), in which the dental pulp is extracted. After removing it, the space is cleaned and disinfected to fill it with an inert and sterile material, seeking to heal the tissue and eliminate the symptoms. This procedure allows the patient to save their teeth and avoid or reduce the need for extraction of the tooth.

When is an endodontics necessary?

Root canals are performed in teeth that have deep cavities, which present inflammation or death (necrosis) of the dental pulp. Another reason for pulp inflammation (pulpitis) is some trauma or very rare, grinding teeth.

The dental pulp is the inside of the tooth, there are nerves and blood vessels. The inflammation of this pulp usually presents pain, with reactions to heat, cold or when eating or drinking food. The type of pain indicates whether endodontics is a good solution to the problem.

How is a root canal performed?

As we have said before, endodontics is the extraction of the nerve from the tooth (pulp). This procedure cleans the root canal system, removing bacteria and dead tissue to leave the canal clean and ready to be filled with a sterile substance. Generally, this procedure has the following phases:

  1. Diagnosis: the medical professional asks a series of questions to the patient to know more about the type of pain that presents and determine if it is necessary to perform a root canal. A more in-depth analysis is also done through x-rays that allows evaluating the state of the nerve and other related aspects.
  2. Anesthesia: Before performing the intervention on the patient, it is necessary to numb the area that will be operated on. Generally, the anesthesia is local and affects only the tooth to be treated and the surrounding area.
  3. Isolation and opening of the tooth: after applying the anesthesia, the endodontist isolates the tooth from the whole organism and leaves it ready for the access opening.  By means of this procedure the dental pulp can be extracted.
  4. Instrumentation: the instrumentation process is a key step within the procedure, since at this point the complete cleaning of the canal is performed, looking to leave it completely aseptic and ready for the obturation.
  5. Sealing: once the canal is clean, proceed to seal the tooth, closing the canals that have been cleaned and leaving the piece ready, seeking to eliminate any kind of sensitivity or symptom of pain or discomfort.
  6. Control: finally, the patient is followed up to evaluate the evolution and effectiveness of the intervention.

Types of endodontics

There are three main endodontic treatments that vary according to the patient’s situation or the state of the tooth. These are: Endodontics or root canal treatment, endodontic retreatment and Periapical Surgery.

Endodontics or root canal treatment: It is the most common procedure and seeks to eliminate the content of the root canals.

Endodontic re-treatment: it is done when the symptoms persist after a first endodontics (or if there are injuries or infections). Through this procedure, the canal is cleaned and prepared to be filled and sealed again.

Periapical Surgery or Apicoectomy: Apicoectomy is performed when there is injury to the roots or symptoms persist; It is also carried out when the tooth has some condition that prevents performing another endodontic procedure.

We will make a more detailed explanation about the types of endodontics in future articles. For the moment we hope that this brief description of this specialty of dentistry has been very useful. If you have questions or want to request an appointment, then do not hesitate to contact us.