We all know that regular checkups and cleanings are an important part of maintaining your oral health, but what some may not know is that endodontics plays a significant role in keeping your teeth, mouth, tongue, and gums healthy. While cleanings and exams are important for preventing damage to your teeth, just as important is repairing the damage so that it doesn't get worse.
In short, endodontics focuses on treating the internal part of the tooth that has been damaged, leaving the tooth in danger of becoming infected or needing to be pulled. The endodontics goal is to save teeth in rough shape by performing procedures that repair the tooth and, even in some extreme cases, major surgery to correct issues.
Cavity treatments prevent further damage
One of the primary duties of a dentist is to fill cavities and prevent the tooth's pulp from weakening any further. Typically, the dentist cleans the cavity area before applying the filling so that it is free of debris, which can cause infection. The filling material will vary, but it acts as a protectant to prevent the internal part of the tooth from weakening any further and suffering damage or becoming infected.
A cavity can get so deep that it can affect the tooth's roots and lead to more significant pain and problems. In these cases, surgery may be necessary, so it's always a good idea to visit the dentist regularly to get checked for cavities so that they can be filled before they become a potentially dangerous problem for the health of your teeth.
Preventing infection is about more than just saving a tooth; however, it also protects the gums, tongue, throat, and adjacent teeth from having issues.
Root canals save teeth from needing extraction
When the roots of a tooth have become infected or damaged, a dentist will usually perform a root canal to preserve the tooth and prevent it from needing to be pulled. This is a cleaning procedure done under anesthetic. The dentist will clean the tooth's pulp, removing all the infected bits, and sealing the root canal to protect it from further harm.
Once this is done, the tooth is typically safe from further issues, though the cause is typically due to a severe cavity that has reached the innermost part of the tooth or damage to the tooth that has left the roots exposed, which then became infected.
Apicoectomies save the entire root system and gums
When a tooth becomes so damaged or infected for a root canal, that's when something more invasive must be done to protect not only the individual tooth but the gum line and other teeth as well. This comes in the form of an apicoectomy. An apicoectomy is a procedure that surgically enters the base of the root, cleans out the infection, and preserves the tooth's root.
This is typically only done in extreme cases but is important to preserve the health of your entire mouth because these types of infections can quickly spread to the whole mouth and require much more surgery.
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