When it comes to dental health, many people consider only their teeth. It is easy to forget that there’s more to your dental health than what you see on the surface. Within each tooth is a network of tiny passages known as canals. This interior part of the tooth contains living tissue, nerves, and blood, all of which are studied by endodontists.
Although you may not be aware of what’s inside your teeth, an annoying toothache is likely caused by inflammation in the canals. When this problem arises, pain relief and stopping the infection in the tooth pulp may call for a root canal therapy, which is done by endodontists. You may want to visit an endodontist in Lone Tree, Colorado if you are from around the area.
Learn more about endodontists and what they can do to help you maintain your dental health.
What Is An Endodontist?
“Endo” means inside and “odont” means tooth. An endodontist is a dentist that specializes in endodontic therapy procedures. These procedures involve the tooth’s pulp or the soft tissue inside the teeth. Although all dentists undergo training in diagnosis and endodontic treatment, there are some cases that only endodontists can address.
On top of their dentistry educational background, endodontists study for two or more years to gain more expertise in this specific treatment. In their advanced education, they learn about root canal procedures and techniques in detail to help them diagnose and treat more difficult endodontic cases. When a dentist encounters such a case, they will usually refer the patient to an endodontist.
How Can An Endodontist Help You?
If your family dentist has referred you to an endodontist, here are some of the things that this expert can do:
- Diagnose and relieve pain. If you are suffering from oral pain due to fractures or cracks in your teeth, or a cavity in a tooth, it can be a challenge to stay calm. Sometimes, pain can spread to other parts of the body including the ears, head or neck, and can be difficult to determine the cause of pain. This is because of the large interconnected nerves in the mouth. An endodontist is a specialist that can diagnose and treat oral pain like these.
- Provides treatment of traumatic injuries. Damage to the soft tissues inside the mouth can sometimes be due to a blow in the mouth. This is an example of a traumatic injury, for which an endodontist can help treat. For instance, if a child experiences a blow to their permanent tooth that’s not fully grown, this can stop the root from forming. In this case, an endodontist will perform an apexification procedure, which will stimulate bone deposition at the roots, making it possible to save the tooth using a root canal procedure. An endodontist is trained to perform procedures that help “replant” teeth that have been dislodged from their sockets.
- Perform root canal therapy. Endodontists are known for their expertise in performing root canal therapy because it is the most common procedure that they do. The need for this treatment arises when the soft tissues inside the tooth is infected. Pulp infection usually results from tooth decay that’s not immediately addressed or a traumatic injury. Here’s what to expect during a root canal procedure:
- The procedure is done using local anesthesia, a microscope and small dental instruments.
- The endodontist creates a small hole in the tooth.
- The dead or infected pulp tissue is removed and replaced with a sterile biocompatible filler.
- The filler helps seal the tooth and prevents reinfection.
- Provide specialized dental procedures. Aside from doing regular root canal procedures, an endodontist is usually needed when the case involves complicating factors that makes treatment more challenging. An endodontist is also capable of performing surgical procedures, including apicoectomies, which involves the removal of infected tissue from the tip of a tooth’s root. An endodontist’s knowledge is helpful in determining if a tooth is worth saving or if it’s better to be extracted.
- Perform retreatment. There are times when a tooth that has been subjected to endodontic therapy fails to heal or that it still causes pain. Although these cases are rare, there are times when a tooth responds to an endodontic therapy but becomes diseased after some time, causing pain and discomfort to the patient. When this problem arises, the tooth is usually maintained with a retreatment.
Although your family dentist can perform general dental treatments, there might come a time when you are referred to an endodontist. If you’re feeling an undetermined source of oral pain or a complication is making a dental treatment challenging, then you may need to undergo treatment with the endodontist. This specialist will help you treat problems from within your teeth to help save them from further decay.