Endodontics: frequently asked questions

Many of the patients who come to Vélez and Lozano still do not understand what is endodontics. Some of the most frequent questions we are asked in our dental clinic in Murcia are "why do we do them", "won't I be able to cure the tooth with medication alone" or "will I lose the tooth?

If you stay with me, the Dr. Diego SauraI will answer these and other questions on the subject, but if you have any further questions, you can write to us in the comments section or through our social media channels.

What is the nerve of the tooth?

The nerve or dental pulp is the inner part of the tooth, underneath the enamel, which is the outer layer, and the dentinewhich is the middle layer. It is actually much more than a nerve, as it also contains blood vessels and cells, and has numerous functions such as nourishing, defending and regenerating the tissues of the tooth.

Tooth structure.

The harsh reality is that we only remember the dental pulp when it hurts, because as it contains nerve fibres, any pathology that affects the nerve will cause the famous and dreaded 'toothache', one of the most unbearable pains we can suffer. 

Why does the nerve become infected?

The nerve can become sore or infected for many reasons, but the most common ones are the caries and the dental trauma.

The truth is that any situation that exposes the pulp, which should be protected inside the tooth, will cause pain and infection, even from extreme tooth wear.

Example of severe tooth wear.

Does it always hurt when infected?

Not always. It is common to see extensive chronic infections in dental clinics, which have been developing for years, without having caused any pathology. We usually diagnose them with a routine x-ray or because the patient notices a "bad" or "bad" appearance.lump"The gum next to that piece.

Is root canal treatment the only option?

In some cases the tooth is only a little sensitive and we try to cure it by treating the cause, for example a deep caries or an exposed root. On the other hand, if it is a very intense acute pain, which appears spontaneously and there is an apparent cause such as those mentioned above, the best option is to perform a root canal. 

It is true that we have the alternative of extracting and inserting an implant, but it is always better to keep your own teeth, as long as this is possible.

Will you change my colour?

In some cases the tooth darkens a little after the root canal, but this will only be visible in the front teeth (the six closest teeth, come on) and nowadays there are treatments such as internal whitening, with more than proven efficiency, to correct it when this happens. 

Will I still lose the piece?

There is a belief that after root canal treatment we will have to remove the tooth immediately, both because it breaks off and because it becomes infected again sooner or later, but this is not true.

When endodontics is carried out, we devitalise the tooth and it is logical that it will remain healthy for many years. It is true that it will have a greater tendency to fracture, but not so much because of the root canal but because of the previous caries. For this reason, to prolong the life of the tooth, we usually use an inlay or a crown, such as we have already explained in this blog article.

Comparison in which we see on the left a black shadow around the root of a tooth that had an infection, as soon as the endodontic treatment was completed. On the right we can see how 9 months later the shadow has disappeared, a sign that the infection has disappeared and all the bone has regenerated.

Can I cure the infection with antibiotics alone?

Here I must be blunt: no

Antibiotics will calm the symptoms for a while, but the infection will become chronic and will continue to grow until we treat the cause, which is the contamination inside the tooth, and this can only be achieved through endodontics.

In fact, in order to be able to see this healing radiographically, it will take time to more than 6 months since the end of treatment.

With this article, I hope to have answered your most frequently asked questions about the endodonticsone of the procedures that arouses most interest in dental clinics due to its complexity and the clinical need to perform it when the tooth suffers an infection. Remember that you can contact me through the social networks and that if after reading the article you consider that you need some kind of intervention, you can contact us on 968 28 46 28.

AuthorDiego Saura Miñano