Root canals are performed on teeth with deep caries, which cause inflammation or necrosis (death) of the dental pulp. Other reasons for the appearance of pulpitis or inflammation of the pulp are some trauma, abrasion, erosion and wear of the teeth due to the friction between them (for example due to bruxism) or the way in which some restorative treatments are performed and the materials used in them.
The dental pulp is the innermost part of the tooth, and where the nerves and blood vessels meet. The inflammation of the pulp usually manifests with pain, which can be of different degrees and occur on different occasions: against the heat or against the cold, in certain positions, when eating or drinking, etc. The type of pain we feel is the one that will indicate to the dentist if endodontics can be a solution to our problem.
Endodontics is, as we have said, the total removal of the pulp or nerve of the tooth. This is a procedure for cleaning the root canal system in which bacteria and necrotic tissue are removed to make the canal as aseptic as possible. It is carried out in different phases:
Diagnosis by the health professional: during the diagnosis, an anamnesis or questions guided by the professional are carried out, during which the patient reports what the pain feels like, where it is located, with what intensity it is noticed, if it can calm down applying cold ... Everything aimed at making a good diagnosis and applying the correct treatment. In addition, x-rays are carried out to verify the state of the tooth and to see what its anatomy is like (length of the roots, state of the same ...).
Anesthesia: the anesthesia used in this type of intervention is local, affecting only the tooth to be treated and the surrounding area. It is important that at the time of anesthesia there is no infection or inflammation in the piece so that it works correctly. If there is an infection, the intervention should be postponed and the patient will be prescribed to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, if necessary.
Opening and isolation of the piece: a hole is made in the crown of the tooth through which the pulp is accessed for extraction and the tooth is isolated from the entire organism.
Conductometry and instrumentation: it is the procedure of cleaning the ducts to leave them aseptic or clean.
Obturation: it is the phase of sealing the tooth, through which the canals that have been cleaned are closed, leaving the piece completely desensitized.
Control: a subsequent x-ray and observation by the dentist to verify the effectiveness of the intervention. It is usually followed up for a few weeks or months.
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