The term endodontics ; It is derived from the Greek words “endo” (inside) and odont (tooth). It is the branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of soft tissue, namely pulp, which consists of vessels, nerve endings and connective tissue cells that provide nutrition and innervation of teeth.
What are the Fields of Endodontics?
- Differential diagnosis and treatment of oro-facial pain (mouth-face pain) originating from pulp and periapical tissue
- Prevention of pulp diseases and live pulp treatments
- Root canal treatment
- Retreatment of root canal treatment in endodontic failure
- Treatment of traumatized teeth
- Endodontic surgery applications
- Whitening of endodontically treated teeth
- Placement of a post in the root canal cavity for crownal restorations
- Apical resection of infections that do not heal despite adequate root canal treatments
What Does Root Canal Treatment Do?
In the endodontic clinic, damage to the dental pulp and surrounding tissues due to causes such as caries, fractures, infections and trauma is treated. Endodontists (root canal treatment specialists) basically try to protect the tooth in the mouth as much as possible and keep it in the mouth.
In Which Cases Is Root Canal Treatment Performed?
As a result of incompatible restorations, new caries formed around old fillings, deep caries or accident/trauma, the nerve and vascular tissue (pulp) of the tooth can lose its vitality and become infected. Even without any decay, teeth can lose their vitality for different reasons. At the beginning of these is exposure to trauma. A severe blow or forces that are continuous, even if mild, can adversely affect the blood circulation of the tooth and thus the tooth can lose its vitality over time because it cannot be fed.
Teeth clenching/grinding (bruxism), high fillings and restorations are also among the causes of chronic trauma and can cause deterioration of pulp health. However, periodontal (gum and its surroundings) problems that are not treated for a long time can be a cause of disease not only in the tissues around the tooth but also in the tissues inside the tooth. In these cases, root canal treatment may have to be performed.
Some symptoms that may indicate that the person needs root canal treatment;
- Toothache in case of chewing or applying pressure
- Severe or prolonged hot or cold tenderness (pain)
- Darkening of tooth color
- Swelling and tenderness in the gums near the problem tooth
- Spontaneous (unmediated) pain
However, teeth that have lost their vitality or have undergone root canal treatment may not cause any complaints. This situation; it should not be perceived as the absence of the need for root canal treatment. A detailed examination is required for the indication of root canal treatment. If necessary, radiographs or vitality tests can be used for diagnosis.
Why do we apply root canal treatment instead of extraction?
Although the tooth loses its vitality after the root canal treatment, it continues to fulfill its oral duties fully. The function satisfies phonetic and aesthetic needs. Alternatively, the extraction of the tooth and all the surgical/prosthetic treatments to be performed afterwards are not more valuable than the tooth remaining in the mouth with its own roots. Of course, if it is not possible to restore the tooth, if the apical infections do not heal or if the tooth has lost bone support periodontally and its severe mobility (shaking) cannot be prevented, in short, if the extraction of the tooth is an absolute indication, implants or prosthetic solutions can also successfully replace the teeth.
How Long is the Life Span of the Root Canal Treated Tooth?
Teeth with a good root canal treatment; With the right oral and dental care, it remains in the mouth for many years and allows the continuity of the chewing function and the achievement of an aesthetically beautiful appearance. Although the success rate of any treatment is not 100%, many endodontic treatment success studies show that the teeth function in the mouth for many years. It is recommended not to neglect the controls against the occurrence of caries or problems in the treated tooth again.
Is Root Canal Treatment a Painful Procedure?
Contrary to the fact that root canal treatment is known as a painful procedure among the public, it is a painless procedure when current treatment methods are applied. Thanks to the anesthetic solutions we use, pain is prevented, like all dental procedures, it can be done without pain. This positively affects patient comfort during treatment.
This situation is affected by many factors such as the experience of the physician, the confidence of the patient, stress, pain expectancy, the condition of the tooth before treatment.
How many sessions does root canal treatment consist of?
It is essential that the root canal treatment performed on a live tooth is completed in a single session. In some rare cases, it may need to be finished in 2 sessions.
In cases where the tooth loses its vitality, there is an infection at the root tip and the root canal treatment is repeated, it may be necessary to finish in one session or in two or more sessions. The exact answer to this question can be learned at the time of examination and treatment between the physician and the patient.
How Long Does Root Canal Treatment Last?
Although there are situations that require a single session of the root canal treatment to last longer or shorter, it takes an average of 1 hour.
What are the Stages of Root Canal Treatment?
- The tooth is detected with Panoramic X-ray.
- The tooth and surrounding tissues are anesthetized with regional anesthesia.
- The tooth is isolated from the surrounding tissues.
- For the entrance to the root canals, the caries is cleaned and the endodontic cavity is prepared.
- The length of root canal work is determined by endodontic instruments.
- The root canal cavity is cleaned and the root canal is disinfected with special solutions.
- Root canals are tightly filled with biocompatible canal filling material.
- Root canal treatment is usually completed in a single session. In cases where it is not completed, root canals are administered various antimicrobial agents. A temporary filling is performed to prevent contamination of the tooth. The antimicrobial agent applied for 7-10 days is provided to work on the tooth.
What should be considered after root canal treatment?
If the root canal treatment is not finished in a single session, the consumption of sticky (gum, Turkish delight, etc.) and hard foods should be avoided until permanent restoration is done in order not to fall off the temporary filling.
Something should not be eaten or drunk until the drowsiness has passed.
You should pay attention to your physician’s recommendations for situations after root canal treatment.
Pain may be felt when the root canal treatment is performed or started on the teeth. Although it differs from person to person, this complaint also disappears within a few days.
When it comes to oral dental health care, care should be taken to brush teeth at regular intervals, floss, interface brush.
Root Canal Treatment Success Rate
The success rate of root canal treatments applied by the endodontist with the right method reaches 98%.
If the root canal treatment fails, can it be done again?
Although Root Canal Treatment is a treatment with a higher success rate when it is first performed, it is a procedure that can be repeated. In cases where the treatment is unsuccessful, the canal filling is removed. Root canals can be refilled after being reshaped and cleaned. This is the most complicated of the root canal treatments. Whether the root canal treatment can be repeated or the success of this treatment depends on the root canal treatment that has been done before. You can get detailed information about the procedure by your physician beforehand.
Is Root Canal Treatment Performed During Pregnancy?
If your dentist and medical doctor deem it appropriate; Filling and root canal treatment can be performed during pregnancy. Especially in the 2nd trimester, necessary treatments can be done. This delicate situation depends very much on the situation of the person, the course of pregnancy. Therefore, it is necessary to decide according to the person.
Regular dental check-ups should be done to protect the health of both mother and baby.