Endodontics is the science that deals with the interior of the tooth. It derives from the Greek endon (inside) and odontos (tooth). One endodontic measure is the root canal treatment.
Our teeth are made up of visible dental crowns and one or more roots that anchor the tooth within the bone. The tooth nerve (the pulp – consisting of blood and lymphatic vessels, connective tissue and nerve fibres) is located on the inside of the crown and tooth root. It may ignite through caries bacteria or an accident and then (or later on) die off.
The bacteria can now multiply in the dead nerve tissue, penetrate through the root canals into the body and cause inflammation in the bone.
The entire body is impacted by such infection.
With the help of root canal treatment, such infections are combated by removing the bacteria and the decaying remains of tissue from the canal and filling and sealing off the cleaned cavity bacteria.
With endodontics (root canal treatment), your own teeth are able to be preserved.
Acute inflammation often manifests itself as unbearable severe pain that often spreads. The tooth becomes extremely sensitive to temperature changes, the heat and/or the cold. Bite pain occurs. The tooth is sensitive even to the slightest touch. Pain medication only helps in the short term or not at all anymore. Chronic inflammation often manifests itself with only very limited pain or without any at all – so it runs asymptomatically.
As a rule, three sessions are necessary:
- Pre-treatment (pain treatment)
- Root canal preparation
- Root canal filling
In complicated cases, additional sessions may be necessary.
In using modern treatment methods and anaesthetics, the root canal treatment is usually completely painless and, in being thoroughly implemented, has a 95% chance of success.
The canal system must be cleaned and disinfected up to the tip of the root to remove any bacteria and the infected tissue from the canal. Various disinfection solutions are used that are activated via ultrasound. Mechanical cleaning and preparation of the canal takes place, amongst other things, via highly flexible computerised instruments that also allow treatment of severely curved or narrow canals.
The length of the root canal is controlled on an ongoing basis via so-called impedance measurement. This enables a particularly safe way of working in the root canal and, above all, reduces the number of X-rays required. Often a medicative insert in the canal is used, this way a new infection of the cavities is prevented and in addition, fewer bacteria can survive.
The root canal must be thoroughly and tightly sealed off, this prevents reinfection of the root canals through bacteria. The most state-of-the-art and proven techniques are used for this purpose. The root canal filling is achieved in a special process via heat-moldable precision pins, which enables the canal to be filled up to the tip of the root and also in the side areas.
Following a successful root canal treatment, the respective tooth needs to be closed in a stable and bacteria-proof way. Finally, the tooth in question usually needs to be supplied with a crown or a partial crown, as due to the substance defect it otherwise becomes instable and liable to fracture.