An endodontist is a type of dentist that specializes in treating the pulp (nerve) and root of teeth. Their goal is to relieve dental pain and save your natural teeth before it’s too late. If you’re referred to an endodontist, it’s likely because you may need a root canal.
Do I Need Endodontic Treatment?
Persistent tooth pain is the most common reason patients come to see an endodontist. Some signs you may need to make an appointment include:
- Discoloration of a tooth
- Pain while eating or when pressure is applied to the tooth
- Lingering pain and sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums
- In some cases, a small, pimple-like bump will appear on the gums near the area of the affected tooth
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal can be daunting, but it is one of the most common dental procedures. The treatment itself is also very straightforward and often includes these steps:
- X-rays are taken so the endodontist can assess the damage to the tooth and to see if there is any sign of infection in the surrounding bone.
- The endodontist will use local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth.
- The endodontist makes an access hole in the top of the tooth.
- The pulp is cleaned out of the tooth through the access hole.
- The tooth is sealed. This can often be done the same day, but in some cases, the endodontist may wait and medicate the tooth for a period of time before sealing.
More Endodontic Procedures
- Endodontic Retreatment: Nonsurgical root canal therapy is usually very successful (greater than 90% success rate), however there are circumstances where the tooth will fail to heal or the pain still continues. In these instances, your endodontist will have to reopen your tooth to determine what went wrong.
- Pulp Vitality Testing: This test gives your endodontist a full look at the health of your dental pulp (nerves). It can help them see where issues occur and if a root canal or other procedure is necessary.
- Apicoectomy: Also referred to as a root end resection, this procedure is a last resort effort to treat a decayed tooth that is unable to be saved by a root canal. It removes both the damaged pulp and the tip of the root, preventing your tooth from being pulled.
Schedule Your Endodontic Appointment
Stapleton Modern Dental partners with the endodontists at Colorado Endodontic Group to offer a full range of services to our patients. Our dentists and specialists work hand-in-hand to personalize your treatment for your unique needs. If needed, we also provide some sedation options.