Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry dealing with the inside of teeth. Today’s advanced endodontic treatments have come a long way in recent years due to modern advancements in endodontic technology. The end result is a healthier smile that can last a lifetime.
What is an Endodontist?
Taken literally, the Greek work endodontics means “Inside the tooth,” and it relates to tooth nerves, pulp and tissues. Endodontists are dental specialists who receive years of additional dental training after dental school. They typically help patients with root canals, root canal therapy, root canal surgery, endodontic retreatment, traumatic injuries and cracked teeth. Endodontists treat seniors, adults, teenagers and children.
Root canals have an unfortunate stereotype of being an uncomfortable procedure. However, that is typically not the case. If you have a painful tooth infection, root canal therapy alleviates your discomfort.
What are the Symptoms/Signs of Endodontic Treatment?
The most common sign that you may need to see an endodontist is experiencing pain. Other symptoms of endodontic problems include:
- Tooth discoloration
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes
- Inflammation and tenderness in the gums
- Teeth that experience prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Tenderness when biting and chewing
Reasons for Endodontic Treatment
There are many clinical reasons for endodontic treatment (or root canal therapy).
Root canal treatment is needed when the soft tissue inside the root canal, known as the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed.
A root canal is a process where your endodontist removes any infected or injured pulp from a tooth. The main reason for endodontic treatment is to save your natural tooth. The most common reasons why you might need root canal treatment are:
- Chips and fractures
- Faulty crown
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
How Does Endodontic Treatment Save the Tooth?
Your endodontist carefully removes the infected or inflamed pulp, cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, the fills and closes the space. You will have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect it and restore it to its full function.
What Should I Expect as an Endodontic Patient?
A comprehensive examination is necessary to diagnose pulpal injury and oro-facial pain to determine if root treatment is necessary and if the tooth is a good candidate for endodontic treatment.
What Does an Endodontic Procedure Involve?
Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins. Endodontists use local anesthetics, like those used when filling a cavity. A root canal, when performed properly, can be painless.
For a few days after endodontic treatment, your tooth may feel slightly sensitive because of tissue inflammation, which may be worse if the tooth was very inflamed before the procedure. This discomfort can easily be controlled by over-the-counter painkillers. Most people can return to work or other activities the day after the procedure. Your endodontist will tell you how to care for your tooth at home. Endodontic-treated teeth can last for many years, even a lifetime.
Pulp damage is sometimes caused by an injury to the mouth. An endodontist also diagnoses and treats pain associated with a damaged or diseased tooth. Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain may be felt in another tooth, ear, or neck. Endodontists also help with emergencies such as:
- Fractured Teeth
- Knocked Out Teeth
- Painful Toothaches
On occasion, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal properly. If pain persists, a surgical procedure called endodontic retreatment may be needed to aid the healing process.
Get a Better Smile Today
Care One Dental is devoted to helping patients with anything they need. That is why we provide anyone who visits our Delray Beach, FL office with comprehensive care in a comforting environment. We even offer competitive pricing, so that no one needs to be dissuaded from receiving the dental care that he or she requires. Contact us at 561-894-4299 to arrange an appointment today.