Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic therapy, endodontic treatment, or root canal therapy) is a treatment sequence for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Root canals, and their associated pulp chamber, are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Together, these items constitute the dental pulp Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with small files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals. Filling of the cleaned and decontaminated canals is done with an inert filling such as gutta-percha and typically a eugenol-based cement. Epoxy resin is employed to bind gutta-percha in some root canal procedures. Endodontics includes both primary and secondary endodontic treatments as well as periradicular surgery which is generally used for teeth that still have potential for salvage.
A root end surgery, also known as apicoectomy (apico- + -ectomy), root resection, retrograde root canal treatment (orthograde root canal treatment) or root-end filling, is an endodontic surgical procedure whereby a tooth's root tip is removed and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material. Microsurgical endodontics—dental surgery using a microscope—may be performed. This is usually necessitated when a conventional root canal therapy had failed and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised. State-of-the-art procedures make use of microsurgical techniques, such as a dental operating microscope, micro instruments, ultrasonic preparation tips and calcium-silicate based filling materials. Removal of the root tip is indicated to remove the entire apical delta ensuring no uncleaned missed anatomy. Extraction may be the only alternative. Where necessary prosthetic replacement with a denture, dental bridge or dental implant may be considered.
Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the functionality) of teeth, gums and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance. Many dentists refer to themselves as "cosmetic dentists" regardless of their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. This has been considered unethical with a predominant objective of marketing to patients. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry. However, there are still dentists that promote themselves as cosmetic dentists.
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