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What Is An Endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures.  They provide only endodontic services in their practices.  To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics.  They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic treatment.  Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.

How Does Endodontic Treatment Save The Tooth?

The Endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space.  Afterwords, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Inflammation Or Infection Can Have A Variety Of Causes:

  • Deep Decay
  • Repeated Dental Procedures
  • A Crack Or Chip In The Tooth
  • A Blow To The Tooth

 

Signs Of Pulp Damage:

  • Prolonged Sensitivity To Heat Or Cold
  • Discoloration Of The Tooth
  • Swelling And Tenderness In The Nearby Gum Area
  • Sometimes There Are No Symptoms

 

Non Surgical Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic Treatment
The Endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers a local anesthetic.  After the tooth is numb the Endodontist places a small protective sheet called a "dental dam" over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.

An opening is made in the crown of the tooth.  Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals, and to shape the space for the filling.

The root canals are then filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called "gutta percha".

A temporary filling is placed to close the opening.  The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.

After your final visit with the Endodontist you will return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed to protect the tooth.
 
Surgical Root Canal Therapy

Apicoectomy
When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure, an apicoectomy may be performed.

In this procedure, the Endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue.  The very end of the root is also removed.

A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and a few stitches or sutures are placed in the gum to help the tissue heal properly.

Over a period of months the bone heals around the end of the root.

Non Surgical Retreatment Of Root Canal Therapy

Retreatment
As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons. 

If your tooth has failed to heal or has developed new problems, you have a second chance. Another endodontic procedure may be able to save your tooth.

The endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. 

After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth with magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.

After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.