How Can An Endodontist Help You?
You may not know the term Endodontist, but you've heard of the work they do.
What is an endodontist?
Endodontists practice a very specific type of dentistry that centres around interior tooth issues and diseases of the dental pulp, such as nerves, blood vessels and the surrounding tissues.
While all endodontists are qualified in dentistry, less than 3 per cent of dentists are qualified endodontists, and all endodontists have completed at least a further 2 years in dental training to be able to specialise in this field.
Two of the best-known elements of this training are root canal surgery, a very common practice in today’s dentistry, and diagnosing tooth pain which is key in identifying the underlying causes of dental complaints such as abscesses and infections, as well as other problems that may arise from inside the tooth.
Whereas dentists may be seen as tooth fixers, endodontists are often viewed as saving teeth as they can often step in and see a problem before it gets to that stage.
To identify issues with dental pulp accurately, training must be extremely thorough and specific. This level of knowledge stems largely from a caseload that consists of only endodontic issues, in fact, a specialised endodontist can often perform on average 25 root canal surgeries per week whereas a standard dentist may only perform 2.
The leading edge of technology
Endodontists are highly trained in the latest dental improvements such as digital radiography and 3D scanning that allow the most intricate tooth anatomy to be understood. This allows exactly the right treatment to be allocated.
When is an endodontist required?
Primarily endodontists are needed when the issue is caused by the following:
Any damage that creates cracks in your teeth quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which in turn can quickly become infection.
When teeth and/or gum integrity breaks down due to poor maintenance or hygiene, cavities can arise and if left untreated will often result in damage to the root tissues that then leads to inflammation and infection within the tooth pulp.
A build-up of pus from bacteria that gets inside the tooth and/or gums. This is not always a slow process and can happen in a matter of days in severe cases such as after wisdom tooth extraction.
Sometimes a hard impact can severely jar the teeth and affect the underlying root placement, in these cases, an endodontist would be the preferred specialist.
Endodontists can perform multiple treatments
Root Canal surgery
The removal of infected or damaged tooth pulp, which is then expertly resealed to prevent further problems.
Emergency dental surgery
This may include such necessities as the fast repair of complex dental injuries or severe tooth infections.
Replacing materials from previous root canal surgery that didn’t heal properly.
Specialist Endodontic surgeries
Highly specialised surgeries such as apicoectomy, the removal of the tip of a tooth root.
This is required when there is too much damage for the tooth to be saved.
Dental implants are used as the foundation for other structures such as a dental bridge to restore both look and function after a tooth needs to be removed.
What tests will an endodontist do?
Dental X-rays: To capture defined detail within the tooth structure
Tapping your teeth: This can provide vital clues to identify and isolate inflammation.
Hot or cold swabs: Swabbing the teeth with varying temperatures is used to identify tooth sensitivity and thus is useful to identify potentially problem teeth.
When to call an endodontist
It is always essential to act promptly with any lingering tooth pain or sensitivity as it is often a sign of problems that will only worsen if left untreated.
The typical issues an endodontist will treat include:
Swelling or pus-like taste in the mouth:
This must be treated as an emergency and promptly addressed as this may suggest an abscess and untreated abscesses can be extremely dangerous, even in some cases fatal if not promptly treated.
Jarring or Trauma:
Should you experience jarring or trauma to the face or jaw it is also important to visit the dentist promptly as these types of impacts can also have hidden problems that can quickly worsen if left unattended.
Bleeding from gums, teeth or jaw:
This may indicate infection which can also rapidly worsen if not treated promptly.
For a full list of endodontist procedures or if you have any other concerns or queries raised by this article please ask your dentist for further information.
Here at Life Dental & Wellbeing, we strive to be a leading source of advice and therapy as well as excelling in our own field of dentistry.
Should you have any enquiries about any of the above, or indeed any dental health queries, our expert team will have the answer or point you in the right direction, so please call us on 01392 278843, or email us at lifedentalandwellbeing.co.uk and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.
Wishing you a good day and happy oral health.