What is endodontics?
Endodontics is the specialty of dentistry that deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the tooth root. An endodontist is a dentist that has specialised in the treatment of soft tissue inside the tooth. Endodontists who perform root canals, receive advanced education after graduating from dental school and typically only deal with endodontic-related problems.
A common misconception is that a root canal is an uncomfortable procedure, when in fact, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal discomfort.
When do I need endodontic treatment?
Common causes for the need of endodontic treatment:
- Inflamed/infected tooth pulp
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements
- Tooth decay
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Blow to the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness near the infected tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
Please call our office for an evaluation if you experience any of the symptoms above.
Who provides endodontic treatment?
All dentists receive some endodontic training. However, endodontic specialists are dentists who limit their practice to endodontic procedures. They complete an additional two years of postgraduate training in endodontics following dental school. After passing a sequence of exams, these specialists are designated board certified by the Australian Board of Endodontics. They complete an additional 3 years of postgraduate training in endodontics following dental school. After passing a sequence of exams, these specialists are qualified to be registered as Endodontists with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
What are the advantages of endodontic therapy?
In terms of functionality, there is no real substitute for your natural tooth. Endodontic therapy is significant because it is designed to save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed.
What causes the pulp to become damaged?
The pulp can become damaged due to periodontal disease or as a result of a traumatic injury. However, the most common reasons for pulp damage are extreme decay and a fracture that exposes the pulp to bacteria that stimulate infection.
Is endodontic therapy painful?
A local anesthetic is applied to ensure you experience little to no pain during the procedure.
How long will the tooth last?
Although the tooth is more fragile, with proper restoration, daily brushing and flossing, routine follow-ups and a healthy diet, the tooth may last a lifetime.
Can endodontic therapy save all teeth?
Unfortunately, not every tooth can be saved. If the canals are accessible and can be thoroughly cleaned and sealed, the treatment can be performed. In addition, the patient must have adequate bone support.
What alternatives are available?
The only other option is to remove the tooth. Extraction can stimulate the formation of periodontal disease and additional tooth loss. Failure to replace an extracted tooth will cause the adjacent teeth to shift and negatively impact chewing and biting.