Treating and Preventing Tooth Infections
Endodontics are skilled dental specialists who specialize, diagnose, and treat tooth pain. The primary job of an endodontist is to address traumatic dental injuries. The most common procedure that is associated with endodontics is the root canal treatment, but there are a few other procedures that endodontists perform as well. You might choose an endodontist, or an oral health professional who specializes in root pulp treatments, for the following reasons:
Endodontists specialize in root canal treatments, performing nearly 25 root canal treatments on average every week. General dentists, on the other hand, typically perform two.
- Increased efficiency
Professionals who specialize in endodontics are efficient and precise, and spend less time in the chair than they would elsewhere. Visiting a professional who specializes in endodontics will typically enable you to have your root canal completed in just one visit.
- More availability
This quality is especially helpful if you need to receive an emergency endodontic treatment. Those who specialize in endodontics are often able to offer more flexibility in emergency situations to provide quick pain relief for the patient.
- Advanced technology
Endodontics are able to use state-of-the-art technology like microscopes, digital imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation, and other technologies that help them treat patients.
Types of Endodontic Treatments
- Root canal treatment
Root canal treatments are an effective way to relieve dental pain and protect your teeth. A root canal is necessary when there is inflammation of the roots of a tooth. The steps of a root canal treatment are as follows:
- The endodontist prepares the area. We would begin the process by numbing the area with injections in the gum and root. Once the area is numbed, the dentist places a dam in the mouth to isolate the root and cover the rest of the teeth in the mouth.
- The endodontist must then access and clean the roots. This involves drilling the tooth to access the root canal and pulp chamber with instruments that clean the pulp chamber and root canals. The purpose of this step is to eliminate bacteria and treat infections.
- The next step is for the endodontist to shape the canals and then fill them. This will seal the canals and keep bacteria out.
- Next, your endodontist must seal the hole that is made to access the canals, which keeps bacteria out of the tooth. This step is only performed if the tooth is too damaged to support a restoration.
- Finally, the endodontist places a crown around the treated tooth, adding strength and stability to the area.
An apicoectomy is what endodontist perform when a root canal treatment was not fully effective. This is a minor surgical procedure that removes the tip of the tooth’s root from the jawbone area. It is also called a root end surgery. If you have had a root canal surgery and an infection has developed, an apicoectomy might be in your future. This will remove the affected root of the tooth to prevent it from affecting the healthy teeth that surround it and protect the function of the natural tooth. The following steps take place during an apicoectomy:
- The endodontist applies local anesthesia to lessen any pain that may occur.
- An incision is made in the gum near the tooth. This exposes and frees the area of inflamed or infected tissue.
- The endodontist removes the tip of the tooth’s root and seals the end of the root canal with a filling.
- The endodontist places stitches to seal the area and allow it to heal.
- Dental abscess tooth treatment
A dental abscess is a pocket of pus in the mouth that is caused by a bacterial infection. This condition can occur in different areas of the tooth. It tends to happen when an infected tooth isn’t treated. If you think you might have a dental abscess, your endodontist can assess the signs and symptoms to determine if this is the case. A dental radiograph might be performed. If you do have a dental abscess, the first route of action will be to clear the infection. You might be prescribed with an antibiotic like penicillin. Next, your endodontist will open the tooth and remove the infected areas of the pulp chamber. If necessary, they might perform an incision and drain the soft tissue to allow the pus to drain from the area. It is essential to get a dental abscess treated as soon as possible. If the infection spreads, the patient might develop a fever, swelling of the face or jaw, and might have to be admitted to the emergency room in order to keep the infection from continuing to spread throughout the body.
The doctors at Austell Dental Associates specialize in endodontic treatments. If you have any questions about these treatments, or think you might need an endodontic treatment like the ones mentioned above, give us a call at (770) 467-3888 or contact us online.