(En-do-don’tiks) – A field of dentistry concerned with the biology and pathology of the dental pulp, peripheral tissues, and with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pathoses and traumatic injuries in these tissues.
Endodontic treatment in most cases can be performed in one or two visits. The first step is examining the tooth and an x-ray. Then a local anesthetic numbs the area and a rubber dam is placed to isolate the tooth and keep it clean from saliva. The next step involves making an opening in the crown of the tooth and very small instruments are used to clean the canals and shape the area in preparation for a filling material. The filling material is bio-compatible and usually is a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. In most instances, a temporary filling is placed after completion to close the opening. The temporary is removed by your dentist before final restoration. If the tooth has minimum structure to hold the final restoration it may require a post inside to maximize retention of the crown. Ask your dentist for more details about the restoration planned for your tooth.
Generally, endodontics and a final restoration is less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. Most teeth treated endodontically last as long as the natural teeth. Patients need only practice good oral hygiene and keep up with their regular checkups and cleanings.