Dentistry involves the diagnosis and treatment of various dental problems faced by people. Dental practice and treatments are difficult and require particularly high precision and agility. Advanced dental care can solve dental problems in your mouth, teeth and gums that you think have no permanent solution.
What Is Endodontics?
The Latin term endodontics comes from the words endo (internal) and donti (tooth). The Department of Endodontics deals with the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of diseases that occur in the tissues surrounding the tooth, as well as living tissues such as veins and nerves in the tooth, which is called dental pulp. Dentists who have completed their dental school education can become endodontists by completing their specialization training in the endodontics department. Endodontics is generally known together with root canal treatment today. Root canal treatment is a surgical procedure. It is a procedure in which the problematic pulp structure is removed and the rest of the tooth is preserved. Endodontists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of many dental diseases, such as prevention of pulp diseases, cleaning and whitening of teeth undergoing endodontic treatment, treatment of damaged teeth exposed to trauma, and endodontic surgical applications.
What Is the Role of an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a highly qualified dental specialist who helps preserve your natural tooth. They focus on treating complex dental problems that primarily affect the dental pulp and the root tissues. Advanced procedures and dental tools are utilized to treat the infected tooth pulp and root tissues. One such dental treatment is root canal therapy, which treats decayed teeth and pulp to relieve pain and restore the area from further infection. Dentists try to treat these dental issues while maintaining your natural tooth simultaneously.
Additional training and expertise are required to perform endodontic treatments. In order to become an endodontist, after completing the dentistry education, a minor specialization in the field of endodontics should be done.
Dental surgery involves invasive treatments involving removing the complete or partial teeth parts surrounded by infected tissues that are difficult to preserve. Dental implant surgery involves implants placed in the gums to replace extracted teeth and restore the strength of surrounding teeth and other prosthetics if a tooth is entirely removed.
What Are the Dental Issues Treated by Endodontics?
Endodontists primarily deal with issues with the pulp or root of the teeth that have been infected through the following:
- Tooth decay after accidents or injury: an untreated cavity can leave plaque that damages the tooth gum and root tissues.
- A tooth abscess is a pus-filled area that develops when bacteria infect the tooth because of periodic cleaning or excess caffeine or sugar intake.
- Disoriented tooth growth from birth or over time as a person ages.
What Are the Standard Procedures in Endodontics Treatment?
Starting with the consultation and initial examination, an endodontist may run further tests along with a physical inspection of the teeth and the pulp. Endodontists examine the tissues, nerves, and blood vessels that reach deep inside each tooth, a region called the "pulp." This region is sensitive, and immediate medical intervention is required to prevent it from causing any major infections. Dental X-rays offer detailed images of the inside of the teeth. Your doctor may test your tooth's sensitivity by putting hot or cold swabs or tapping your tooth with dental tools. If your teeth are sensitive to swabs or tapping, it indicates that the tooth is infected and requires medical intervention.
Root canals are also known as endodontic treatment and were developed to keep various microorganisms such as bacteria, dead or living tissue layers away from the deep parts of the tooth. The dental pulp is the main affected area and is a vital part where the most important functions of the tooth take place. The pulp is located under the enamel layer and forms the center of the tooth. Blood vessels, neural network, connective tissue and pulp are the vital and functional parts of the tooth. Pulpectomy or root canal treatment is often recommended as an alternative for severely infected teeth scheduled for tooth extraction. Since the roots of the teeth are in tight connection with the gingiva and jaw bones, the extraction of a tooth that can be saved by root canal treatment can lead to progressive or permanent damage to the gingiva and jaw structure in individuals. During root canal treatment, very small instruments are used to access the roots of the tooth, to ensure its cleaning and treatment.
The necessity of root canal treatment, which can be applied to all age groups, cannot be determined precisely, especially in cases where the damage is very extensive. The treatment decision is made by dentists in a personalized manner in accordance with the patient's characteristics. In some cases, root canal treatment makes more sense and gives better results. The main situations in which root canal treatment is necessary to prevent tooth loss are as follows:
- Infected teeth
- Presence of tooth abscess
- Teeth damaged by accident or trauma
- Loss of teeth that can cause speech problems or eating disorders
- Loss of teeth that may lead to loss of function of the jaw and tongue.
How Are Root Canal Procedures Carried Out?
Root canal treatment has three main approaches. The approach for each patient varies according to the situation.
- Pulp Therapy: It is the preferred approach when pulp damage is mild. It is useful in the initial stage of infection, when it does not completely damage the tooth. In such cases, the pediatric dentist will repair the damaged tooth, apply antibiotics and coat the tooth without interfering with the pulp. By applying antibiotics directly to the pulp, the progression of the infection is prevented.
- Pulpotomy: One of the popular approaches to root canal treatment for patients is partial root canal treatment, known as pulpotomy. If the infection is localized in the upper part of the tooth, pulpotomy may be a good choice. Removing only the infected pulp without interfering with the healthy pulp part is important for the protection and stabilization of the tooth. In the pulpotomy method, antibiotic therapy and covering the tooth are required.
- Pulpectomy: It is the procedure in which root canal treatment is applied fully. This process requires serious precision and expertise. The tooth is first disinfected and the channels are shaped and progressed. In the final stage, the tooth is covered. The common protocol in all treatment approaches is the application of local anesthesia. Local anesthesia relaxes the patients mentally and physically and ensures that the procedure is painless.
Endodontic Procedure: What to Expect
Most endodontic procedures require only a few days for recovery and healing. After a root canal procedure, it is normal to experience discomfort, but you can resume your daily activities and work the same day with minimal precautions. After the surgery, you might feel discomfort in your mouth or tooth while chewing for a few days. Pain that is more severe or lasts longer after more extensive surgery is possible. Your doctor might prescribe medicine to treat an infection, reduce inflammation, or speed up healing. You should do a follow-up visit after a root canal and other procedures to ensure that your tooth is healing normally.
When to Approach an Endodontist
Your dental issues are bound to worsen if you keep waiting or brush off any discomfort or pain as not a significant issue. It might be challenging to maintain your natural tooth as the tooth issue becomes extensive. A dental professional should be approached for any persisting tooth discomfort or pain. Approaching an endodontist is the best choice if you feel persisting tooth discomfort or pain, a strange ache in your mouth or jaw, and sensitivity while having hot or cold foods or inflammation.
USHAŞ - Advanced Medical Care in Endodontics
USHAŞ is a government-affiliated organization under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Türkiye that promotes international health services in Türkiye, including the Endodontics Department, as part of its efforts to support medical tourism. HealthTürkiye has been established with the objective of working to coordinate the activities of the private and public sectors towards health tourism and offer a range of services to help diagnose and treat various medical conditions. HealthTürkiye is the only authorized representative of Türkiye's entire health system. HealthTürkiye aims to be the world leader in healthcare services through its expert and experienced healthcare teams and healthcare institutions equipped with advanced technology, and to guide guests from abroad who prefer Türkiye to receive healthcare services.
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