Endodontics & Root Canal Treatment
Endodontics is the treatment of tissue inside the tooth, also known as the dental pulp, to save a tooth that otherwise might need to be extracted. Damage can be caused by disease, decay or trauma. Indications that treatment may be necessary include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, or tenderness of the tooth or adjacent gums. However, sometimes there are no symptoms. This is why regular exams with a general dentist are so important to catch these issues.
What is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dentists with more than two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment. Their specialized training enables them to diagnose and treat difficult cases (teeth with narrow or blocked canals, unusual anatomy, or teeth that have had previously failed root canal treament).
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is the process of removing inflamed or dead tissue within the tooth. During this process, a local anesthetic will be given to thoroughly numb your tooth and a ‘rubber dam’ will be placed around the tooth to keep it clean and dry. The infected or inflamed tissue is then removed and a filling material is placed into the canals.
Are there other options?
Once the pulp is affected beyond its ability to heal, your tooth will require some form of treatment. The alternative to root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth. Although extraction tends to be less expensive, it is usually advisable to keep your natural tooth, if possible. If extraction is your preferable or only option, we may recommend looking into getting an implant or dental bridge, if we believe that it is a better long-term investment in your health.