Unless you have been referred to a specialist for a root canal treatment, you may not have heard the term “Endodontics” before now. Even if you have, here are a few interesting things you may not have known about this dental specialty.
“Endodontics” is taken from two older Greek terms literally meaning “inner tooth.” In the word endodontics, “endo” is a prefix meaning “inner” and “odont” is the root word “tooth.” Endodontic treatment dates back to the 17th century.
Endodontics focuses on the study, diagnosis, and treatment of the internal structure of the tooth. This can include root canal therapy, apicoectomy, treatment of tooth infections, and more.
Endodontists start by training as dentists. Prior to obtaining their specialization, an endodontist like our doctor will earn a degree in dentistry. Afterward, they will complete an additional 2-4 years of focused education and training to gain their specialization.
Root canal treatment preserves a tooth. If you develop an infection in the soft inner tissue of your tooth, antibiotics are not sufficient to treat the issue. Rather than removing your permanent tooth, a root canal treatment will clean out the infection and fill the tooth to protect it from further damage. A single root canal treatment can preserve your tooth for a lifetime.
Root canal therapy relieves pain. Contrary to popular belief, having root canal treatment is not the cause of the pain that people often associate with it. The infection or trauma that underlies the need for treatment is the cause of the pain. Even though your tooth will likely be tender for a few days, most patients notice significantly reduced sensitivity following treatment.
Endodontists can help save a tooth following dental trauma. In addition to their expertise in root canal treatment, endodontists receive training in a wide range of dental trauma concerns. In many cases, our doctor may be able to stabilize or reposition an injured tooth to prevent the need for extraction.
As a patient, you likely think of your general dentist or hygienist as your partner in your dental health. These are people you see frequently, who monitor your oral health during each visit and talk with you regarding any progress or potential issues that they find. While both of these dental professionals are vital, your endodontist can be a valuable partner in ensuring your oral health, as well.
It is likely that you were originally referred to our office by your general dentist because you needed root canal treatment. Endodontists specialize in performing root canal therapy to help save an infected tooth from extraction. However, this is not our only area of expertise. As an endodontist, our doctor’s specialty training also focused heavily on providing effective treatment for dental trauma.
Damage or trauma to the teeth, mouth, or jaws can range from very mild to extreme. Our office is available for expert consultation, evaluation, and treatment of dental trauma, often extending beyond normal business hours. If you or your child experience dental trauma, contact our office and your general dentist immediately, so you can be seen and treated as soon as possible.
Dental trauma includes:
Cracked or fractured tooth
Soft tissue injury to gums, lips, cheek, or tongue
Jaw bone injury
Damage to dental restoration
As one of your partners in dental health, our team is happy to provide you with any information you need regarding the services we offer. Whether you need a quick appointment for dental trauma treatment, root canal therapy to stop the pain from an infected tooth, or a second opinion on whether a tooth needs to be extracted, we are here to help.
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