An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in problems with the tooth pulp. Housed in the root canal inside the tooth, the pulp is made up of soft tissue that helps feed and support the tooth. When it becomes damaged or infected, endodontic treatment can help save your tooth.
What Treatments do Endodontists Perform?
An endodontist performs procedures that are different from those performed by a regular dentist. The most common and best-known endodontic treatment is root canal therapy, sometimes referred to as pulpectomy. In this treatment, the soft tissue on the interior of a tooth, called the pulp, is removed due to infection.
However, an endodontist does other important procedures, as well. These can include:
- Pulpotomy, which removes the pulp from the crown of the tooth only
- Root resection, in which the tip of the root is removed and then filled
- Endodontic retreatment, or performing another root canal on an already treated tooth
All these procedures are focused on preserving the tooth. If root canal therapy proves unsuccessful, the next step is usually extraction. The root canal procedure is often the best way to keep a tooth intact and usable, rather than having to remove it and then focus on tooth replacement.
How Do I Know If I Need an Endodontist?
If you have any symptoms that could indicate problems with the tooth nerve or pulp, you should see your dentist or endodontist for a diagnosis. Symptoms can include:
- Extreme discomfort
- Swelling around the tooth
- A blister on the gums that won’t go away
- Extreme, persistent sensitivity
Our endodontist will want to evaluate the condition of your tooth before treating it. You might require a course of antibiotics before other treatment to reduce or control the infection. He will also take X-rays to determine the exact structure of the pulp chamber. Each tooth has its own pulp chamber, and the shapes of these chambers vary from person to person. The X-rays help guide the endodontist during treatment.
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