THE SPECIALIZED FIELD of endodontics is still a mystery to a lot of people, and many of our patients come to us with the same questions without realizing it. These are some of the questions we hear most often, and we’re sure that more people haven’t spoken up but don’t know the answers either.
1. What Is Endodontics?
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the dental pulp and the tissues around the roots of a tooth. The word comes from Greek. “Endo” means “inside” and “odont” means “tooth.” Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal treatment, treats infections and disease in the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth.
2. What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Endodontist?
All endodontists are dentists, but less than 3 percent of dentists receive the additional training needed to become endodontists. This is why it’s much better to see an endodontist for root canal treatment than a general dentist.
3. How Do I Know if I Need Root Canal Treatment?
In a lot of cases, you’ll be referred for root canal treatment by your general dentist, but there are a few symptoms that may indicate that it’s time to see an endodontist:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Throbbing or aching sensation
- Pressure in or around a tooth
- Pain or discomfort when biting down
- Swelling in the gums or jaw
- Fractured tooth
4. How Does Root Canal Treatment Save Teeth?
Instead of pulling a problem tooth and replacing it with an implant, root canal treatment allows you to keep the tooth. The endodontist removes all of the infected material inside the tooth, cleans and shapes the root canals, and then fills and seals everything up.
5. Does Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
Root canal treatment has an undeserved reputation for being very painful, but the truth is that the dental problems that lead to root canal treatment are the source of the pain. The treatment itself relieves this pain and will leave you feeling much better.
6. What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?
After your procedure, it is very important to go back to your general dentist or to a restorative dentist for restoration work like a crown or filling. This protects the tooth and allows you to continue using it as normal. Just make sure to brush and floss so that it can stay in good shape!
We Love It When Our Patients Ask Questions!
We hope these answers have been eye-opening for you! The more educated you are about your teeth and which dental professionals are best for different types of issues, the more confident you will feel about making decisions for your dental health. If you have any questions we didn’t cover here, give us a call or stop by our office!