Dentistry has various branches and endodontics is one of them. Endodontists focus only on their specialty, performing complex surgeries. They can also diagnose the cause for oral and facial pain accurately and recommend treatment. Surgery involves the use of sutures to promote healing.
When is endodontic treatment required?
The pulp in the tooth can become inflamed or infected and this can be due to a number of reasons like severe decay, too many dental procedures and damage due to fracture, cracks or chipping. Sometimes, biting something that is particularly hard can also affect the pulp even though there is no visible sign on the tooth. If this is not treated promptly, it can be very painful and develop a cavity making the tooth sensitive to hot and cold substances. Gradually, the surrounding gums and teeth also suffer. Endodontic treatment can save the tooth.
An endodontist scoops out the infected tooth pulp and cleans the area thoroughly followed by shaping the tooth using a dental mandrel. The tooth is then ready to be filled with safe dental material and sealed. When this sets, a crown is placed over the tooth to restore its function.
The use of sutures
Sutures have an important role post-surgery. Surgical sutures are stitches used to keep the tissue together while healing. If a tooth is too damaged to be saved, it may have to be extracted. Following extraction, the tissue surrounding the tooth is sutured. Dentists use sutures in different materials and sizes. The material can be resorbable, where it is absorbed into the body and does not need removal and nonresorbable where it must be removed. Using the right type and technique along with the right needle to close the surgical wound properly accelerates the healing. Sutures help hold the edges of the wound together until it heals enough to stay closed.
Equally important in endodontic dentistry is the mandrel, the shaft on which various dental tools are mounted for operation. One example is the drill. Mandrels are made from rigid material so that when pressure is applied on the tooth, it stays in shape. This tool helps by offering the dentist access to hard-to-reach areas of the mouth without affecting the surrounding gum and tissues. They are used to clean and repair teeth and help to precisely smooth, polish and shape precisely. Some mandrels are equipped to hold and apply dental materials to the tooth while repairing it.
While performing root canal treatment, endodontists also use a rubber dam to give them easy access to the treatment area without oral contamination. The dam also protects the patient, by preventing them from accidentally swallowing instruments or medication. It also keeps the lips and tongue away from the treatment area.
All dentists are trained in endodontics as part of their formal education. However, for root canal treatments, patients are generally referred to an endodontist, who is a qualified dental professional specializing in all aspects of root canal treatment and surgery and can handle any complications that arise as a result of the procedure.