If you have sensitive teeth, an endodontist can help diagnose the pain. Many things can cause teeth sensitivity. If a patient likes to consume acidic foods and drinks, the tooth enamel may wear away. The acid can dissolve the enamel and expose the sensitive dentin layer. Other factors are aggressive brushing and tooth decay or…
An Endodontist is a Specialist in Saving Teeth
An endodontist is a dental specialist who has received additional training in the diagnosis of tooth pain and performing root canals and other treatments that deal with the interior structures of the tooth. Endodontists are referred to as specialists in saving teeth because the treatments provided can often save diseased or damaged teeth that may otherwise need to be pulled.
Endodontists save teeth
Endodontists complete an additional two or more years of training after finishing dental school. This training provides these dentists with specific expertise in the treatment and diagnosis of tooth and mouth pain.
Reasons to see an endodontist
A general dentist is usually the first resource for tooth pain caused by gum disease or cavities. However, pain that is persistent or is accompanied by extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, a dull ache in the jaw, or discomfort while chewing may require endodontic care. General dentists complete some endodontic training and can perform some procedures, but usually do not perform these procedures as frequently as an endodontist. Endodontists also have more training in determining the specific cause of difficult-to-diagnose pain.
Patients who are experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity to heat or cold, swelling around the gums or face, or an injured tooth may need to see an endodontist. Patients may make an appointment directly or see a general dentist first, who may provide a referral. These providers specialize in diagnosing and treating several types of painful conditions:
- Tooth pain
- Cracked teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Abscessed teeth
- Dislodged teeth
Procedures performed by endodontists
Root canals are the procedures most associated with endodontists. However, these dentists also perform a variety of other endodontic treatments, such as endodontic surgery and retreatment, dental implants, and treatment for traumatic dental injuries. While most endodontists only perform endodontic treatments, these specialists can evaluate patients and recommend other types of treatments where appropriate.
A root canal is a treatment used to eliminate bacteria present in an infected tooth root canal to avoid reinfection of the tooth and prevent the need to have the tooth removed. The procedure involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp and cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth. The tooth is then filled and sealed, and may be covered by a protective crown. Root canal treatments have a reputation for being painful; however, modern root canals are relatively painless and comparable to a routine filling. Root canal procedures can restore normal biting force and sensation, make chewing more efficient, preserve the natural appearance of the tooth, and protect adjacent teeth from wear and strain.
Many patients who are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity or have damage to the internal structures of teeth can benefit from visiting an endodontist. Patients who are unsure whether they need endondontic care may wish to discuss options with a general dentist first. Delaying care may reduce the chance of saving the patient's natural tooth, so patients are advised to seek care as soon as possible.
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