ENDODONTICS

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that studies specifically root canal therapy.

Endodontic therapy brings to mind the root canal treatment. The most feared treatment among dental treatments is usually the root canal therapy. Today, root canal therapy is virtually painless and is completed in vital teeth in one session and in devitalized teeth it is completed usually in two sessions.

Dental Anatomy

Any part of a tooth that is visible in the mouth is called “Crown”; the part of a tooth that exists in the bone is called “Root”. A tooth consists of several layers. The outer part of a tooth, meaning the part seen in mouth, is called enamel. Enamel is one of the most rigid tissues of our body. The root of a tooth is covered by a layer called cementum. Dentin layer exists under enamel and cementum. Dentin has the largest volume among all dental tissues and unlike enamel, dentin contains nerve ends. Due to this characteristic, it plays a role in the pain mechanism.

Pulp exists under dentin layer. The pulp contains nerves and vessels, and it plays a significant role in the eruption and the development of a tooth. The pulp also reflects the problems of tooth via the pain mechanism even after tooth eruption.

How do teeth get infected?

Bacteria exist in every person’s oral cavity. These bacteria do not cause harm under normal conditions. Bacteria produce acids from the food we consume and unless these acids are eliminated, acids damage the enamel consequently leading to caries in enamel tissue. Caries left untreated in enamel progress to the dentinal tissue. Though the dentin tissue warns through inducing pain, if the caries is left untreated, then microorganisms move towards the pulp. The pulp uses various ways to protect itself. One of them is through the pain mechanism. But if the invaded tooth is still not treated, after a while, microorganisms damage the vessels and nerves in the pulp, thus an infection is caused.

Trauma is another factor leading to infection. A blow might cause ruptures of vessels and nerves that enter a tooth through root apex, consequently leading to devitalisation. Addition of microorganisms in any way causes the infection of pulp.

Another cause of a pulp infection is an existent periodontal disease (disease of the gums and surrounding tissues of a tooth) for a long period of time.

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