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Let’s learn a little about Endodontics

A basic rundown of what endodontists are and why you may need them.

What is endodontic treatment?

Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth using special instruments designed for cleaning the roots.

Inside the tooth, under the hard tissue of the tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves and everything that keeps your tooth alive. The pulp extends all the way from the top of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it goes to the tissues around the root. It is this are that becomes infected and causes a toothache.

Why would I need an endodontic procedure?

Endodontic treatment is needed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected.

The inflammation or infection can be cause by deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack in the tooth. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?

Signs include pain, deep sensitivity to heat or cold, pain to touch and chewing.

Other signs can be discoloration of the tooth, and swelling or drainage around the tooth, but in some cases, there may not even be any symptoms. So if you think you may have a root problem with your tooth, please contact a, endodontist as soon as possible.

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

It’s so much better to try to save the tooth, rather than just pulling it out.

The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp along with the bacteria causing the infection. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown to protect the tooth and make it functional again.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

You should not feel significant pain during treatment, since you will be numb for the root canal.

For 2-3 days following treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, it is not common to have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days.

Why do I need another endodontic procedure?

It is possible you may need another root canal, sometimes for the following reasons:

  • Root canals that were not treated during the first root canal.
  • Complex root anatomy
  • Re-infection or the tooth has decayed again.
  • A loose, cracked or broken crown.
  • Crack or fracture of the root

What will happen during retreatment?

Check out this video to see what happens during retreatment.

Is retreatment the best choice for me?

Whenever possible, it’s always best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime.

Advances in technology are constantly changing the way root canal treatment is performed, so we may use new techniques that were not available when you had your first procedure. As with any dental or medical procedure, there are no guarantees. We will discuss your options and the chances of success before beginning retreatment so you can make the best decision for yourself.

Why would I need endodontic surgery?

Some reasons you may need surgery include:

  • Sometimes the root canal is too narrow for the instruments used in retreatment to reach the end of the root. If your tooth has this “calcification,” surgery can clean and seal the remainder of the canal.
  • There may be a persistent type of bacteria that is not cleaned with standard root canal therapy.
  • There may be other factors, such as a large post, that prevents retreating the tooth.
  • If there is a possible root fracture, we may examine the root surgically to evaluate for extraction.

What is an apicoectomy?

Check out this video about apicoectomy.

Cracked Teeth

Check out this video about cracked teeth

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