Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with treating diseases of the internal part of the tooth which contains the pulp (odontoblasts, blood vessels, nerves, etc.). When deep caries are present, causing irreversible alteration to the pulp tissue and thus necrosis, this method is used. Endodontic treatment, commonly known as “root canal”, in the presence of necrosis, aims to remove the pulp tissue and any bacteria thus avoiding or healing any apical granuloma (chronic inflammation of the tissue at the end of the root).
Endodontic treatment involves a number of phases:
• ISOLATION of the area to be operated, therefore the tooth to be treated, using a rubber dam to avoid accidental contact with disinfecting liquids.
• OPENING up and accessing the pulp chamber until the canals can be seen.
• Assessment and sounding of the root canals using manual tools (files) or mechanical tools to run the length of the root with the aid of an electronic apex locator (a tool which emits an acoustic signal when the file has reached the end of the canal)
• Careful CLEANING and removal of bacteria and any remains using irrigating solutions such as hydrogen peroxide so as to leave the canals clean and disinfected, ready to be sealed. In these cases a laser diode can be used to sterilise the canal even further.
• Three dimensional SEALING of the canal structures (lateral canal and apex) with thermoplastic rubber cones (gutta-percha). The treatment therefore seals all the previously disinfected spaces and canals preventing bacterial infiltration which could produce toxins causing lesions around the apex, abscesses or granulomas.
• Checkup X- RAY