The term “endodontics” comes from Greek and is formed by joining two words “endo” (inside) and “dontics” (tooth), so endodontics deals with the treatment of conditions inside the tooth, more specifically with pulp conditions. Endodontics is the dental medicine specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pulp pathology.
Endodontic treatment (“canal treatment”) is necessary when the tooth pulp is irreversibly inflamed or becomes necrotic (dies). Left untreated, the infection initially focused inside the tooth extends, over time, to the jaw bone and to soft tissues around the tooth. Such pathological processes cause persistent pain, because of the inflamed pulp or of irritation of living tissues around the root, bone destruction, inflammation and deformation of adjacent tissues. The endodontic treatment only, by cleaning and disinfecting radicular canals, can eliminate infection on long term.
Properly performed endodontic treatment ensures the health of roots and keeping the tooth in good condition for a longer period of time, often during the whole life of the patient. For this, another compulsory condition has to be met: coronary restauration of the treated tooth (obturation, covering crown) must be made in due time (no more than one month after completion of the endodontic treatment). Thus it prevents saliva from penetrating canals and their re-infection.
Going to regular checkups with the dentist (at least once a year) and thorough oral hygiene measures, the patient himself/herself has a decisive contribution to the successful treatments and to maintain dental health.
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