The term endodontics comes from two Greek words: “endo” which means inside and “odons” which means tooth. Taken together, these words mean study of the inside of the tooth or dental pulp.

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the internal tissues of the tooth, pathologies (commonly referred to as toothache) and related dental treatments.

In the presence of pathologies of the oral cavity, the treatment of dental endodontics (or tooth devitalization) consists in the removal of the dental pulp and the bacteria present inside the root canal.

What is called root canal treatment of the tooth consists of:

  • removal of the dental nerve;
  • cleaning of the root canal;
  • sealing with thermoplastic material (gutta percha) and cement, or a sealing material for medical use.

Generally, one session is sufficient. Under special circumstances, it may be necessary to perform two or more endodontic sessions.

When is root canal treatment necessary?

The endodontic diagnosis conducted by professionals such as the endodontists of the dental offices of the OdontoSalute network allows to identify the tissues of the tooth or those surrounding the dental root that are diseased or damaged by caries or traumas such as road or sports accidents, serious periodontal diseases and dental fractures.

In the presence of these factors, the practice of devitalization allows saving the affected tooth, without extraction.

Root canal treatment: what are the symptoms that require endodontic treatment?

The most common signs and symptoms that suggest that a tooth needs root canal treatment are:

  • widespread pain;
  • increased sensitivity to heat and cold;
  • pain when chewing;
  • swelling;
  • pain in the gum around the tooth.

In some cases, even the absence of symptoms is documented.

Devitalization: the causes. What is deep caries?

Deep caries is one of the main reasons why a specialized dentist resorts to devitalization of a tooth.

Caries penetrates the outermost layer of the tooth up to the pulp. Due to the bacteria present in the caries, the dental pulp becomes inflamed and contaminated, leading to tooth necrosis.

The inflammation can be very painful and, if left untreated, can progress to the tip of the tooth root and cause swelling (abscess).

Some advanced stage caries can cause a granuloma, i.e. a chronic inflammation of the apex of the tooth and surrounding tissues.

The practice of endodontics can obviate the harmful effects of a deep caries, without involving the extraction of the tooth.

Endodontics: what is root canal treatment?

After a careful diagnosis, which includes the evaluation of a radiographic examination, the dentist begins root canal treatment: he administers local anesthesia to the patient and places a rubber dam, i.e. a sheet of rubber which, isolating the tooth to be devitalized from rest of the mouth, avoid contamination with saliva.

The dentist removes the caries up to the inflamed or necrotic pulp of the tooth. Thanks to the use of special root canal tools, it removes the dental pulp and removes any bacterial residues present in the root canals of the tooth.

Once the pulp chamber and roots have been cleaned, the dentist proceeds with the disinfection and filling of the pulp chamber and the now empty root canals. Dental fillings are performed with gutta-percha, a rubbery material, and a cement that seals the tooth canals.

Depending on the root canal treatment of the tooth adopted, the dentist chooses the most suitable reconstruction technique.