Root canal therapy is the main component of endodontics - division of dentistry dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp (soft tissue formation located inside the tooth). Endodontics is a part of dentistry, providing therapeutic manipulations in tooth cavities, root canals and adjacent tissues in diseases of the pulp and apical periodontitis.
Pockets of acute and chronic inflammation of the pulp can cause physical and moral discomfort, they can serve as a source of odontogenic inflammatory processes of the maxillofacial area and neck, can complicate the course of diseases of the internal organs and systems and provoke the development of focal-related diseases. Therefore, these foci of infection require timely, adequate and effective root canal treatment.
Methods of endodontic treatment can save even badly damaged or infected teeth; prevent complications leading to tooth loss, serious illness of soft and bone tissues. For mechanical (instrumental) root canal treatment endodontic instruments are used. The first endodontic instrument was invented in 1746 by Pierre Fosharom. It was a steel piano string with notches and handle. Modern endodontic instruments are manufactured with the help of high technology and advanced scientific researches.
Pulp is the soft tissue, containing nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels of the tooth. The pulp is contained in the pulp chamber of the tooth crown (the part of tooth projecting above the gum) and in root canals of a tooth surrounded by dentin - ossiform tissue that supports enamel.
There are many causes of illness and destruction of the pulp. This may be the penetration of bacteria from a deep cavity, traumatic injury to the tooth, poor circulation, nerve damage, exposure to bacteria through a crack in the tooth, gum disease (periodontal disease). Inflamed dental pulp irritates the nerve that causes the pain, sometimes weak, sometimes very strong. Periapical abscess (boil) can occur near the top of the root of the tooth.
Endodontic treatment includes: removal of the pulp, cleaning the pulp chamber and root canals, forming channels and canal filling.
The tooth treatment in a dental clinic typically takes from one to three visits. At the first visit the dentist examines the tooth (if necessary using X-ray) to determine whether the pulp is struck. If the doctor makes the decision to root canal, he/she opens the tooth pulp wide, through the crown. In order to relieve the pain at this stage anesthesia is usually used. Always tell your doctor about any discomfort you feel, so that the dentist could maintain the necessary level of anesthesia.
Dentist cleans, expands and forms tooth root canals for the convenience of the subsequent filling. Drugs can be used for the destruction of bacteria and prevention of infection of the purified pulp chamber and the root canals. While drugs are working, the hole in the crown of the tooth can be closed with a temporary filling.
If there is extensive infection of the pulp, doctor can keep the cavity of a tooth opened for a few days for drainage (outflow). In order to help the body to fight the infection that spreads beyond the tooth, antibiotics and other medicines can be prescribed.