Damaged teeth due to caries that have not been treated can cause many problems. If the damage reaches the pulp of the tooth or even the nerve root, it can cause a lot of pain and even an infection that would cause them to lose the tooth if it is not treated as soon as possible. The best treatment a dentist can perform to prevent them from losing the tooth is endodontics. Endodontics is a treatment that consists of the partial or total extraction of the pulposus nucleus of the tooth, which is the internal part where the pulp ducts are located. It’s a tissue in the form of a strand that is made up of a dozen blood vessels and nerves. Until a few decades ago, endodontics was a rare treatment, so you only chose to remove teeth that had damaged pulp. Today, thanks to advances in both technology and dental treatment techniques, in addition to the development of new materials that act as a substitute for pulp, endodontics has helped save those damaged teeth.
The application of this treatment is necessary when the pulp is affected, which in addition to acute pain, causes inflammation. The first symptom that the pulp is inflamed is always the pain in the tooth or in the area of the gum where the damaged tooth is located. The pain can be stabbing of great intensity or of less intensity, but constant. Similarly, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, or changes between them, discoloration of the tooth, inflammation and sensitivity in the adjacent gums may occur. If any or several of these symptoms are detected, or there is a visible exposure of the pulp in the tooth, they should see a specialist immediately. If pulp damage is not detected in a timely manner, a deposit of pus may form at the root of the tooth, which causes an abscess due to infection. An aggravated infection of the gum can spread to the jaw and destroy the surrounding bone of the tooth. This, in addition to the loss of the dental piece, have major consequences such as facial cellulitis or osteomyelitis. Also, if the infection was transmitted by blood it can cause sepsis.
How is endodontics performed?
Once the dentist has checked your teeth and detected a fissure that exposes the pulp of the tooth, the treatment that can take a couple of appointments will begin so that they can recover the total use of the dental piece and stop the damage from infection and inflammation. However, in some cases the treatment can be extended by more appointments, depending on the degree of damage. The first thing that is done is a dental x-ray that covers the damaged part and the surrounding parts, to observe how far the infection reaches and how much is the damage to the nerve. In case the radiography fails, it is submitted to the tooth to tests of temperature, percussion and sensitivity, to determine if there is damage to the nerves or if another treatment can be chosen.
In case the endodontics is the only option, the outpatient procedure will be initiated where local anesthesia is applied, regardless of whether there is vital damage to the nerve or not. Once the anesthesia takes effect, the tooth is isolated by placing a staple and rubber on the tooth in order to keep it free of saliva, to subsequently remove all the nervous tissue that is damaged by caries or infection. It can be partially or totally removed. The tooth remains are cleaned and filed to completely disinfect the ducts and prevent the infection from reoccurring. Finally, the filling is carried out, which is the process of filling the ducts with an inert material and that is not rejected by the body. The material can be solid or plastics, which are the most common, such as antiseptic pastes, zinc cements or plastic resin base.