Endodontics is a Latin term derived from the words endo (inside) and donti (tooth). The department of endodontics deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that occur in the tissues surrounding the tooth itself, as well as living tissues such as veins and nerves in the inner part of the tooth, which are defined as dental pulp. After graduating from dental faculty, endodontists who have specialized training in endodontics are called endodontists or endodontists. Endodontics is now frequently associated with root canal therapy. Endodontists deal with the diagnosis and treatment of many dental problems such as the prevention of pulp diseases and the prevention of diseases in the viable pulp, whitening of teeth undergoing endodontic treatment, treatment of teeth exposed to dental trauma, endodontic surgery applications. Before moving on to detailed information about root canal treatment applied by endodontic specialists, the frequently asked “What is endodontics?” Must answer the question.
Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry. Physicians of the discipline of endodontics, which is often associated with root canal treatment today, are called endodontists. It is important to have a basic knowledge of dental anatomy to better understand what endodontics is. Teeth in the mouth, the first organ of the digestive system, are the living tissues where the first digestive movement is made. While the visible part of the teeth in the mouth is called the crown (the crown of the tooth), the part remaining in the jawbone is defined as the root. The top layer of the crown, the visible part of the tooth, contains enamel, one of the hardest tissues in the body. The part of the tooth in the gum is surrounded by the jawbone. However, there is a layer called cementum around the root. Under the enamel and cementum layer surrounding the tooth and root, there is a dentin layer. There are nerve endings in the dentin area, which is the largest layer surrounding the tooth. These nerves, which are not found in the enamel layer, play a role in the pain mechanism. There is pulp under the dentin layer. There are nerves and vessels in the pulp part of the tooth. The pulp, which plays an important role in the emergence and development of the teeth, has an important place in the perception of dental problems as pain by the person. Every person has a large number of bacteria in their mouth. These bacteria, when combined with ingested nutrients, produce oral acids. When oral hygiene is not observed, these bacteria multiply, damage the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. If enamel caries, which can also be defined as superficial caries, are not treated, bacteria continue to multiply and gradually pass to the dentin area under the enamel layer.
In this case, which causes the person to feel pain, if the tooth is not properly intervened, the decay reaches the pulp and causes inflammation by destroying the vessels and nerves in this area. Another factor that causes inflammation in the pulp area is trauma. Examples of these traumas are the compression of one tooth with another, external blows to the tooth. Veins and nerves coming from the root of the tooth can be ruptured, especially in trauma caused by external impacts. This situation, which causes the tooth to lose its vitality, may cause inflammation of the pulp. In addition, periodontal or, in other words, disorders affecting the gum and its surroundings can cause inflammation of the pulp. In such cases, symptoms such as toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, pain when chewing can be seen. In addition, swelling of different sizes can be observed in the face area. In such cases, the person runs the risk of losing their teeth. However, thanks to root canal treatment, which is one of the endodontic treatments, the person can avoid losing the tooth and use the treated tooth for many years in a healthy way. In this context, endodontics and root canal therapy have become synonymous. Frequently wondered “What is endodontics?” The question can be answered in this way. Root canal treatment, on the other hand, is a treatment method applied to eliminate the infection in the tooth and save the tooth. Root canal treatment applied to teeth faced with the risk of withdrawal is performed in sessions under local anesthesia. Although the average treatment period lasts between 2 and 3 sessions, this period may increase depending on the nature of the infection. In the treatment of endodontics, where each session lasts for about 1 hour, after the bacteria causing the infection are completely cleaned, the canal of the root of the tooth is filled and the upper part of the tooth is covered with a crown and the treatment is completed. In this form, although the tooth is more fragile than natural teeth, it can be used throughout life.
What does endodontic treatment do?
Endodontics department physicians basically aim to protect the natural teeth of the person. For this, it tries to protect the tooth in the mouth as much as possible and keep it in the mouth. In the endodontics clinic, damage to the dental pulp and surrounding tissues due to reasons such as caries, fractures, infection and trauma are treated. For this purpose, the endodontics physician can apply root canal treatment or regeneration treatments to protect the vitality of the tooth. With regeneration treatment, it is aimed to create living tissue in the root of the tooth, while the canal treatment aims to protect the natural tooth in the mouth.
How is endodontics (root canal treatment) done?
Although dentists are trained in root canal treatment, it may be necessary to apply to an endodontist for root canal treatment. Endodontics specialist dentists receive specialist training in endodontics for at least 3 years on a 5-year dental education. Thus, the risk of unforeseen complications occurring during the treatment stages is minimized. Endodontic treatment is performed by disinfecting the cavity formed by removing the veins and nerves in the pulp of the tooth, popularly known as the dental pulp, expanding the existing canal structure and closing the gaps formed in the canals with a special filling material. In this context, for root canal treatment, first of all, the problem in the person’s teeth should be determined by dental examination and radiological imaging methods. After the endodontic treatment is decided, the physician applies local anesthesia to reduce the feeling of pain. First of all, the decays in the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth are cleaned and the path to the pulp is created. Then the tooth is isolated by attaching a rubber dam to the tooth to be treated. When necessary, the tooth is checked again with radiological imaging methods and microorganisms in the root canal are destroyed with the help of special tools. After this procedure, the root canal is disinfected. The cleaned canal cavity is closed with filling materials and the upper part of the tooth is covered with a crown and the treatment process is terminated. As a result of the procedures performed during root canal treatment, the relationship between the tooth and the surrounding tissue is cut. Thus, the risk of a possible infection occurring and recurrence is reduced. Even if the tooth is dead after endodontic treatment, it performs its chewing function without any problems. In addition, the jawbone under the tooth is actively used. This helps prevent jaw bone loss. Restoring the tooth after root canal treatment increases the life of the tooth. In other words, teeth that receive root canal treatment but are not restored are more fragile than healthy teeth. For this reason, the tooth is completely covered with porcelain, ceramic or metal crown in order to protect the tooth undergoing root canal treatment and to extend its life. The restored tooth may be sensitive for several days following the procedure.