Endodontist 101: Everything You Need to Know
At Conlin Dentistry, our goal is to preserve your natural teeth, which is why we offer different dental treatments like root canal therapy. Furthermore, we have dental specialists, such as endodontists, to help diagnose and treat various oral problems.
What is an Endodontist?
All endodontists are dentists, but only a fraction of the dentists are endodontists. An endodontic specialist completes an additional two-year training after the initial dental education. The training focuses on learning how to diagnose and perform different procedures that affect the interior of the teeth, such as root canal treatment.
When to See an Endodontist?
Several oral situations may force you to seek the services of an endodontist like:
- Severe dental pain
- Lingering tooth sensitivity
- Dark, tender, and swollen gums
- Loose teeth
Visit our endodontic specialist immediately if you notice any of these dental symptoms. Remember, delaying dental treatment may cause the infection to spread, complicate the situation, and reduce your chances of saving the teeth.
What to Expect During Your Treatment?
Root canal treatment is the first procedure that endodontic specialist performs. This is a procedure done to remove the infected pulp and preserve the teeth.
Our teeth contain three layers, with a pulp cavity being the innermost layer. The pulp chamber contains nerves and tissues that support the teeth during the growing phase. Once the pulp is infected, it causes pain, and if not addressed on time, it may lead to the loss of teeth.
A root canal dentist will remove the cavity to stop the spread of infection and save the teeth.
The root canal therapy is performed in different steps:
- Dental examination. The endodontist will examine the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues and check if the infection has spread to the tissues.
- Using a protective sheet, the dentist will isolate the affected teeth and keep them clean and dry.
- The crown is then opened to clean the pulp chamber of any bacteria and debris. The cavity is reshaped in preparation for a filing.
- A biocompatible material is used to seal the root canal chamber
- The dentist then closes the opening with a temporary filling
- After two to three weeks, the temporary fillings are replaced with a dental crown. A crown is essential for restoring the strength of the tooth and preventing reinfection.
What Other Treatments Do Endodontists Perform?
Our endodontic specialist will perform other treatments such as:
1. Endodontic retreatment
A root canal treatment has a 90 percent success rate, and the treated tooth can last for a lifetime. However, the procedure can fail, and several conditions may influence this such as:
- A curved or narrow canals that go undetected or untreated during the first treatment
- The fixing of the crown was delayed after the root canal treatment
- There was salivary contamination on the inside of the tooth
- Tooth decay
- A loose dental crown or filling that traps food and allows bacteria to overgrow
If the root canal treatment fails, you may need endodontic retreatment to save the teeth.
2. Endodontic surgery
Endodontic surgery is used to locate hidden canals that have previously gone undetected by an x-ray during the initial treatment.
3. Traumatic Dental Injury Treatment
Traumatic oral injuries occur after a sports injury or accident. Although a majority of these injuries are minor, like chipping, your teeth may completely get knocked-out.
Several treatments are offered, such as reattachment of the broken teeth, tooth filling, or replantation of the avulsed tooth. Alternatively, the endodontist will also remove a root canal if the trauma extends to the root.
4. Dental implant surgery
Dental implant surgery is the fixing of the titanium posts on the jaw bone. Implants are great for replacing your teeth, preventing bone loss, and preserving your dental structure. Take note; you need to have enough jaw bone to have the procedure done.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have severe dental pain, lingering tooth sensitivity, tender, swollen, and darkened gums, visit our endodontist for an assessment. At Conlin Dentistry, we offer several endodontic treatments guaranteed to relieve pain and preserve teeth.