What is endodontics?
Endodontics is the practice of dentistry that deals with the inside parts of the tooth, most commonly the dental pulp. Each tooth consists of a crown and a root, the crown being the visible part of the tooth and the root is what anchors the tooth into your bone. Running through the inner part of the tooth complex is the dental pulp, where the nerves, blood supply and other tissues are housed.
Occasionally, decay, trauma, cracks, or other conditions can cause the dental pulp to become inflamed and infected. This can result in significant pain and potentially an infection. Once the dental pulp has become infected, the tooth will need endodontic treatment in order to save it. You may know this procedure as a root canal. This procedure entails removing the dental pulp out of the tooth, disinfecting the inner infected area, and sealing it back off with a material called gutta-percha.
Once the tooth is void of its blood supply, it essentially dies. At this point, the tooth becomes very brittle and is highly susceptible to catastrophic fracture. To avoid this complication, a crown is necessary to bind the tooth together like a cast, preventing the tooth crown from shattering.
All dentists are trained to complete root canals, and Dr. Pfefferle will treat teeth that are in need of a root canal. However, there are certain situations where Dr. Pfefferle may refer treatment to an endodontist, or a root canal specialist. A couple of these situations include tough to access teeth and teeth that have had previous root canals.
What to expect with endodontic treatment:
Fear and trepidation is a common reaction when one discovers their tooth needs a root canal, as most people have only heard the “horror stories” of root canal treatments. In reality, the root canal procedure is typically painless and is designed to relieve any pain. In some cases there may be some residual tenderness typically caused by bruising because of the nature of the procedure, however this tenderness should not last long and is easily alleviated with use of over the counter pain medications. Most often, patients are relieved because the infection is gone and they can resume their normal chewing functions.
Why Keeping Your Natural Tooth Should Be a Priority:
It is a priority for us to save your natural tooth. Keeping your tooth will allow you to chew naturally, smile freely, and retain the beautiful appearance of your dental structure. If you lose your tooth, you will face more expensive dental costs to replace the tooth and to treat other teeth that have been affected by the strain that the loss of your tooth has caused. If you are experiencing discomfort, swelling, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms, call us at (231) 935-1948 for endodontics. No replacement is as strong and as permanent as your original tooth and we can help to save it.
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