Why See an Endodontist Instead of a General Dentist?

Seeing a general dentist for regular checkups and cleanings is important. However, there are times when patients can benefit from seeing a specialist who focuses intensely on a specific aspect of dentistry. For treatments relating to the interior of teeth, it’s hard to beat working with a team that has years of experience and training in the field of endodontics.

Endodontic Retreatment

With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment can last as long as your other natural teeth. However, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Improper healing can be caused by a number of things, including curved, narrow, or complicated accessory canals that were not addressed during the initial treatment, or by a crown or restoration not placed within an appropriate time period following the procedure. In some cases, new problems such as new decay or cracked or loose fillings can require re-treatment in a previously treated tooth.Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.
Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic Surgery

Generally, a root canal is sufficient treatment to save teeth with injured pulp. Occasionally, though, a non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to resolve the infection and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery may also be necessary to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest painfully in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone structure may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.

What is an Apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is a simple procedure where an incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the tooth root. A small filling is placed at the end of the root to seal it and prevent reinfection of the root, and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals and fills in around the root over a period of months restoring full function.

Root canal treatment
Root dentistry

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a common treatment used to remove bacteria and treat infections inside your tooth. Within each of your teeth is soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp of your tooth contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes infected, it causes a number of symptoms like inflammation, temperature sensitivity, and severe pain. A root canal is the process of removing the infected pulp tissue and sealing the tooth to prevent reinfection. All services in this Tooth pulp can become infected from severe tooth decay, as well as injuries and fractures that allow bacteria to reach the inner parts of your tooth. A root canal allows you to save your natural tooth and preserve the function and appearance of your smile.

A dentist with endodontic training can perform specialized treatments to save the tooth and prevent extraction. These are the most common causes of inner tooth damage:

  • Fractures and chips – When a tooth breaks, the nerves and pulp may be exposed. This causes debilitating pain and discomfort that only root canal therapy can resolve.
  • Bacterial infections – After a tooth experiences decay or injury, oral bacteria quickly invade the interior structure of the tooth to cause severe inflammation and infection. This requires root canal therapy to remove infected tissues and save the tooth.
  • Injuries – Endodontists use special techniques to stabilize teeth after they’ve been shifted or dislodged from their sockets.

How are Root Canals Performed?

To perform your root canal treatment, your doctor begins by making a tiny opening in the crown of your tooth. They then use small specialized instruments to remove the infected pulp and clean the space within your tooth. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, your doctor uses a rubber-like material to fill the inside of your tooth and seal the access opening.

Are Root Canals Painful?

Root canals are typically performed under local anesthesia, which reduces any pain or discomfort you may feel during the procedure. For most patients, modern root canal treatment is well tolerated and can be compared to getting a filling. After your root canal, you may experience some sensitivity. Over-the-counter pain medications are a good option for relieving discomfort as you recover.

Will I Require Special Care After a Root Canal?

After the root canal procedure, you and your dentist discuss restoring the treated tooth. In most cases, teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are topped with a dental crown. Dental crowns help preserve the structure of your tooth and can also improve its appearance.

Root Canal
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Endodontics at Downtown Dental Specialty

At Downtown, we’re your tooth and dental pulp specialists! We are not general dentists. Instead, we focus on specialized treatments, including all things related to endodontics. That way you get the very best care around. Have questions? Give us a call.

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