Not all dental treatments are created equal, and a specific skill set is needed to help patients experiencing tooth pain. Endodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating anything that can cause tooth pain, including disease and infection.
What Do Endodontists Do?
The soft tissue inside every tooth is called the dental pulp. Tooth decay, cracks, or mouth trauma can cause inflammation or infection to the pulp. This is where endodontists come in. Endodontic treatments and procedures involve dental pulp and the surrounding nerves.
Infected dental pulp causes tremendous pain in patients. Immediate treatment is necessary to alleviate this intense pain and prevent further damage to the tooth. If dental pulp issues are left untreated, the tooth will become discolored and thoroughly infected, requiring removal. Additionally, the infection spreading to the gums and the jaw can cause severe damage to the structural integrity of the whole mouth.
If you have been referred to an endodontic specialist, it means the infection needs to be cleaned out of your dental pulp. There are several treatment options available for most patients, and a consultation with your endodontist will let you know which one is best for you!
Endodontic procedures include:
This is the most common endodontic procedure by far—millions of people worldwide require root canals each year. Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the dental pulp is severely infected, and decay can no longer be treated through other procedures.
The infected pulp will be completely removed from the tooth during a root canal procedure. The root canals are cleaned thoroughly before they are sealed off. The hollow structure of the remaining natural tooth is augmented by a permanent crown sealed on top.
Many dentists prescribe root canals over tooth extractions because it’s important to retain a person’s natural teeth as much as possible. Although dental implants can take the place of extracted teeth, further infection is still possible. In contrast, root canal treatment ensures that the tooth is infection-free and completely sealed against bacteria.
Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)
If the infection has penetrated to the gum line or the bone, it becomes necessary to perform a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. In this procedure, the endodontic surgeon will cut open the gums to access the bone underneath. All infected tissue is removed, and the root tip is cleaned before being sealed with a filling. After the procedure, the gums are sutured back together.
All endodontic procedures are performed under local anesthesia, so the patient does not experience any pain. These procedures last much longer than a standard tooth cleaning or filling appointment, but patient comfort is incredibly important for endodontists. If you express pain at any point during treatment, you will receive an appropriate dose of anesthesia to relieve it.
Why You Should See an Endodontist
Although general dentists are fully capable of performing root canal procedures, not all pulps and roots are created equal. If your case is relatively complex, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist for treatment.
Endodontists go through two years of specialist training after dental school to be able to perform complex procedures involving the soft tissue of the tooth. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or you have been diagnosed with a severe tooth infection, an endodontist will help solve the problem.
Kabani Dental provides endodontic, family, and cosmetic dental treatments in Marietta, GA. We are committed to providing high-quality dental care for all of our patients. We are proud to serve families in the area for several generations. Book an appointment with us today!