If you are looking into Endodontic treatment the following information will help you in your decision. When you choose endodontic treatment, you choose to retain your natural teeth as a vital foundation for chewing and biting. Your dentist has received endodontic training in dental school, but is referring you to an Endodontic specialist for specialized care. As Endodontists we perform routine to very in depth endodontic procedures and have had two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment.
We use specialized microscopes, ultrasonics and digital imaging during treatment. Endodontic treatment otherwise known as “root canal treatment” is explained as follows: Endodontics is from the Greek words “endo” meaning inside and “odont” meaning tooth. Therefore we treat the inside of the tooth. Understanding the anatomy of the tooth helps explain the need for endodontic treatment. Under the white enamel and hard layer of dentin in your tooth is the soft pulp tissue. The pulp of your tooth contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The pulp of your tooth runs from the crown of the tooth to the end of the roots which connect to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is necessary during a tooth’s growth but as a fully mature tooth the pulp is not needed for continued survival since the tooth can be nourished by the surrounding tissues.
When the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected it requires endodontic treatment. The cause of the infection or inflammation can come from previous dental procedures on the tooth, deep decay or a crack or chip in the tooth. Also, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible cracks or chips. If you leave your tooth untreated, it may cause discomfort or lead to an abscess. Visible signs may be discoloration of the tooth and swelling or tenderness in the gum area. Further signs may be pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold or no symptoms at all. After removing the inflamed or infected pulp, the doctor cleans and shapes the canals and fills and seals the space. You will then return to your dentist for the final restoration of the tooth, which may include a crown or other restoration. Your tooth may be sensitive for several days following the procedure. We recommend taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. The tooth may feel slightly abnormal from your other teeth for a time after the endodontic treatment. If severe discomfort lasts more than a few days, call us.