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Endodontics or “root canal treatments” are procedures in which the pulp is removed from the teeth and the space left by the pulp, both in the roots and in the crowns of the teeth, is filled with special materials and cements to maintain the tooth structure. The pulp, also known as “the nerve” of the teeth, not only contains nervous tissue, it also has blood vessels that keep the teeth irrigated (with blood, which carries oxygen, etc.) and thus keep them alive, remember that Teeth are in fact living organs, just like any organ in the body.

Root canal treatments may be required for several reasons, including major cavities that are not treated in time and penetrate deeply into the tooth, trauma or blows that may or may not fracture the teeth, or infections that come into contact with the pulp from the root. root apex (the tips or ends of the roots). Dental pulps are extremely delicate tissues, they must be sterile, that is, they cannot come into contact with external microorganisms found in the oral bacterial flora, they are very susceptible to inflammation and infection. Toothaches, or “toothaches,” are some of the most acute pains that can be felt in the human body. This is because the pulp, being a soft tissue, with a large percentage of nervous tissue, become inflamed and find itself in a closed environment of hard tissues, it has nowhere to expand, and when touching the nerve endings with pressure from the inflammation to the hard tissues that surround it, they cause very strong acute pain.

Unlike the skin, or some other soft organ in the body, when it becomes inflamed, it has almost infinite space to do so, so the pain tends to be more “tolerable.” The pulp problems that we encounter most frequently in the consultation are reversible pulp inflammation or Reversible Pulpitis, which can be caused after some dental treatment (among other causes), the pulp becomes inflamed, causing discomfort and pain. This type of inflammatory process tends to disappear after a few days, it can be treated with “mild” anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen for example) and is due to manipulation, vibration and/or heat emitted by the handpieces and instruments used to eliminate cavities and restore teeth. In cases where the discomfort disappears, it is not necessary to perform endodontic treatment; however, it is essential to tell the treating dentist if there is any discomfort that does not disappear so that some tests can be performed in the office to rule out other types of problems. In some cases, this inflammation does not disappear, each pulp reacts differently, and this inflammatory process is known as Irreversible Pulpitis. Irreversible pulpitis can appear as we mentioned above, due to manipulation of a tooth in some dental treatment that the pulp did not resist, due to trauma, or due to dental caries that is already found in very deep tissues of the tooth, very close to the pulp.

As the name indicates, it is an irreversible process, therefore, it is essential to perform a root canal. Two other reasons why root canal treatments are essential are infections in the pulp, and pulp necrosis (death of the pulp), which occurs shortly after not treating a pulp infection with a root canal treatment. In clinic, different tests are performed to diagnose the type of pulpal complication. The tests consist of reaction tests at extreme temperatures, percussion, etc. It is seen a lot in clinic, that patients comment "the tooth hurt a lot for a while, and then it stopped hurting, that's why I didn't go to the dentist anymore", by now the pulp had become necrotic, it began to decompose, weaken the tooth from the inside, and even infect adjacent tissues such as bone and gum, in many cases, root canal treatments are no longer sufficient in these cases and the teeth must be extracted. Dental pain must be evaluated in time, maintain good oral hygiene, and visit the dentist frequently, to avoid as much as possible complications that could end in endodontic treatment.

Another reason why a root canal may be required is a reason that differs greatly from the previous ones, these cases are almost no longer seen compared to other times, since dentistry has evolved and is increasingly more conservative, it is a possibility, small, but it exists, that to rehabilitate a tooth with a crown, or make a fixed bridge to rehabilitate an area of ​​the mouth where one or more teeth have been lost, the dental prosthesis or oral rehabilitation specialist indicates the performance of dental restoration treatments. canal in the teeth that will be pillars for that prosthesis. The purpose of endodontics is to keep teeth in the mouth for as long as possible after having a pulpal complication, which in other times would have been reason enough to extract them. Permanent teeth, as the name indicates, are for life. If you take good care of them, the restorations, no matter how good they are, will not be, so the longer we can keep natural teeth in the mouth, the better.

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