What is endodontics
From time immemorial, the term endodontics and what it entails has been a new to most ears. This article is, hence, written to help a layman understand the concept of endodontics in simple yet very elaborate steps. This study entails various elements of endodontics right for the beginning to its end. At the end of this study experience, one will be left with minimal questions concerning this field of study. First and foremost, the term endodontics has been explained in elaborate terms. Once one understands what endodontics is, the various principles and practices under this topic are stated with precision. This is referred to as the scope of endodontics and it covers each and every detail of the duties that an endodontics practitioner is expected to perform (Baker, 2016). The various professionals involved in the field of endodontics are well explained for easy understanding of the work they are involved in. These professionals include but are not limited to endodontics specialist and teachers of the profession in various colleges and universities (Gutmann, 2008). The origin and history of this clinical terminology, endodontics is stated. From the explanation given, one can be able to follow through and grasp the whole concept behind the term endodontics. Furthermore, one gets to learn what it takes one to study endodontics, the qualification requirements, and the number of years one gets to commit into this study before becoming fully certified to practice the discipline and the career path after completing the course. The study also reveals the current projection for an increase in the number of endodontics related jobs up to the year 2018 and the salary range for specialists in this field of study. That is not all, the study researches on the various tools and instruments used by various endodontics specialists and the care that need to be taken for each.
Endodontics can be best described as that part of dentistry that is concerned with the physiology, morphology and pathology of the human dental pulp (Grossman, 2002). It involves practices that are aimed at basic science of studying the common pulp, the etiology, analysis and prevention besides treatment of diseases as well as injuries of the pulp and other periarticular conditions that are associated with the pulp (Gutmann, 2008). The scope of this study includes but is not limited to diagnosis and treatment of oral pain that originates from the pulp, essential therapy of the pulp, the nonsurgical treatment of the root canal systems, selective removal of pathological tissues, replantation of avulsed teeth, surgical removal of tooth structure, removal of discolored enamel and dentine, retreatment of teeth previously treated endodontic ally and restoration of the coronal system (Gutmann, 2008).
Various scholars have devoted their time and resources into the study of endodontics resulting into a wide array of professionals in this sector (Baker, 2016). The individual who is responsible for advancement of knowledge on endodontics through research is referred to as an endodontics specialist. These individuals also transmit information regarding the most recent advances in procedurally acceptable materials in biology. That is not all, an endodontic specialist also educates the public on the importance of endodontics and why it is necessary to maintain a healthy pulp (Baker, 2016). An endodontist or root canal treatment specialist on the other hand is the person responsible for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of all ailments and injuries related to the human root canal.
The term endodontics originates from two Greek words, endo, which means, inside and odons, referring to the tooth (Gutmann, 2008). When the pulp of the tooth which contains sensitive nerves, arterioles venules, the lymphatic system and various fibrotic tissues gets damaged, an endodontic specialist is involved in order to save the tooth. This treatment in recent days involves advanced technology as much as the practice has been used for ages.it involve electric flossing and insurance. Endodontic treatment started all the way in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Early root canal surgery was first identified by scientists in the in Negev Desert in Israel (Carrotte, 2004). This treatment involved embedding one tenth of an inch bronze wire in one of the cavities of the skull of the teeth. The wire was exactly located at the point of infection. The wire was used to minimize the infected tooth pulp for soldiers who suffered from abscesses and a cyst. From the first century A.D, evidence reveals endodontic treatment that involved the draining of the pulp chambers for relief and later covering them with layers comprising of gold foils or asbestos (Gutmann, 2008). In the twentieth century however things have changed. The invention of x-rays and anesthetics has been seen as a great milestone in this field (Grossman, 2002). Endodontic treatments are now safer, less painful, more practical and comfortable. In this century, tooth extraction is not the only option for an infected pulp, millions of patients opt for simply an endodontic treatment. In 1943, practitioners, dentists and educators were encouraged and thus formed the American Association of Endodomists. This association being held at the Palmer House in Chicago invited dental enthusiasts from all over the country to share their endodontic knowledge and expertise. A great milestone for the endodontics specialty happened in 1963 when it was officially recognized as the eighth dental specialty by the American Dental Association.
Baker, D.G, in his article “how to become an endodontist” clearly states the steps one has to pass through before becoming a fully certified endodontist (Baker, 2016). After the undergraduate degree, one is required to undergo a four year dental program so as to earn a doctoral degree in dental medicine and in other cases, a degree in dental surgery is issued. Normally, no specific undergraduate degree is required. However students commonly take courses in science such as biology, chemistry, anatomy and microbiology. During this period of time, a student must focus on building a resume that will help them gain access to the dental college. Ways in which one can build their resumes at this time involves volunteering in local dental clinics, in university dental research facilities and any other dental related vacancies (Ingle, 2008). In other cases, a scholar should take time to study other courses that are continually being integrated into the dentist industry e.g. heart diseases and diabetes. Once a student has received their bachelor’s degree they proceed to becoming a Doctor of dental surgery or a doctor of medical surgery. The third step is to become licensed to practice medicine in the dental designation. The process is completed by passing an oral and written exam referred to as the National Board Dental Examination which is usual administered by the American Dental Association. The final stage in becoming an endodontic specialist involves the residency program (Ingle, 2008). The program equips one with hands on and clinical special training. This process is administered and overseen by the board of a select certified endodontists who have met the qualification set by the American Association of Endodontists. The residency takes a period of two years
The career path for an endodontist is suitable for people who have a strong desire to help improve the oral health of others (Baker, 2016). Skills required by an endodontist include, quick decision making, critical thinking, perfect hand and eye coordination, exceptional interpersonal skills and manual dexterity. Other careers in this field include becoming teachers at dental colleges and universities (Baker, 2016). The bureau of labor statistics has stipulated that the job opportunities for an endodontist will increase by fifteen percent each year up to 2018.the factors determining this growth rate re majorly the growth in population, a surge in insurance covers on endodontic treatments and the ever expanding role that Endodomists are playing in the overall treatment of diabetes and heart ailments. According to payscale.com, the salary for an experienced endodontist ranges between $98000 and $400000. The salary is also affected by the location, experience and volume of work completed.
Carrotte. P, (2004) clearly states and explains the role of various basic instruments that are necessary for mundane root canal processes. One of them is the outward reflecting oral mirror which is applied in the prevention of the appearance of double images in the event of getting finer details when accessing oral cavities. End locking tweezers are used to grasp small objects passed between the nurse and the operator. Canal orifices are detected by a DG16 probe (Carrotte, 2004). An excavator is a long shanked and with a minute blade that permits entrance into the pulp cavity. A pocket-size examination tool is also very essential and a CPITN examination with visibly perceived progressions is perfect. A furcation examination tool is used in checking for any furcation involved. Other essentials include are disinfected cotton wool rolls, flat plastic, germ-free cotton wool pledgers, artery pincers to grasp a periodical radiograph besides a metal ruler used for measuring which must be sterilized (Gutmann, 2008). A clean-stand is essential to clasp the tools. Paper plugs are also obligatory and the easiest way of storage is the use of pre -sterilized packs with five plugs to each pack. The latest radiographic techniques facilitate fast diagnosis and treatment procedures (Baker, 2016). Development of endodontic instruments from the reamers to greater taper nickel titanium files has been put into consideration (Carrotte, 2004). The use of proper antiseptic agents together with the necessary precautions leads to better and efficient irrigation.
In conclusion, the study of endodontics and its related principles is becoming an increasingly studied topic. This is because it is no longer restricted to the root canal only, it has extended its reach to include the study of heart diseases and high blood pressure (Gutmann, 2008). As a result, more scholars are being encouraged to embrace endodontics as a long term career in the field of medicine. It is also quite clear from the study that due to advancement in technology, patients are now accorded more comfortable and safer treatment for root canal ailments. It is also worthwhile to note that treatment, as opposed tooth removal is becoming more and more common since it is now a possibility (Carrotte, 2004). Endodontics education is not for the light hearted. It takes a lot of commitment in terms of resources and time. It thus requires one to be unquestionably passionate about dental health care to pursue the course. However, with the current projection of an increase in jobs up to 2018 and the rate pay of practitioners in the profession it is a specialty worth taking.as a recommendation therefore, a scholar intending to specialize in this line of medicine should only do so due to the love of endodontics and not because of the lucrative financial package it offers at the end of the study period.
Baker, D.G. How to become an endodontist.
Carrotte, P (2004, November 13). Basic instruments and materials for root canal treatment, 455-464 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4811738
Grossman, L. I. (2002). A brief history of endodontics. Journal of Endodontics, 8, S36-S40.
Gutmann, J. L. (2008). History of endodontics. Ingle's endodontics. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker, 36-85.
Ingle, J. I. (2008). Ingle's endodontics 6. PMPH-USA.
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