Understanding the difference between an endodontist and a general dentist can assist people who want to find an appropriate dental provider for a particular problem with their teeth. An endodontist is a dental professional who focuses on diagnosing and treating dental diseases and injuries of the pulp inside the teeth. The goal is to save…
What Does an Endodontist Actually Do When Performing a Root Canal?
An endodontist does not have to be a person you dread. This dental professional has the knowledge and training to clear out severe issues in your teeth and roots. If you have been suffering from extreme pain in your mouth, it may be time to get a root canal. To prepare you for this procedure, it is helpful to understand the steps the dentist will take.
The importance of getting a root canal
For many people, hearing the term “root canal” can cause dread and anxiety. People who need one often put off having the procedure out of fear and nervousness. A root canal is essential when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected. This chamber of the tooth holds nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. If nothing is done to remove the infection or decay, the problems can spread to other areas of the mouth and body. Bone loss in the mouth could occur, as could swelling in the head, face and neck.
Any endodontist knows that a root canal can intimidate any patient. The dentist will first discuss the procedure with the patient. The dentist talks about why it is important, what it will do and what happens at each step. The patient can ask questions and express concerns. The dentist will also instruct the person how to care for the area after the procedure. At this initial appointment, the endodontist will take X-rays and make impressions of the mouth.
Accessing the area
In some cases, the nerves of the affected tooth may be dead, so the patient would not feel pain anyway. Still, most endodontists will numb the area with a local anesthetic. This can comfort the patient during the process. The affected area must be dry and clear of debris, so the dentist will spray air into it and place a rubber stopper to keep out saliva.
Removing the pulp
To remove the infected pulp, the dentist will make an access hole and then drill into the tooth. The pulp rests below the enamel and dentin. Once reaching the chamber, the endodontist will remove the pulp and any bacteria there. The dentist uses a tool to scrape the sides and make sure all debris is gone. The dentist will use a disinfectant to kill any remaining bacteria.
Final steps the endodontist will take
To prevent further damage to the tooth, the dentist will seal it and place a crown on top. The crown will be the same color as the surrounding teeth and will have a similar shape and size. Within the next week or two, the endodontist will schedule a follow-up appointment with the patient.
There is no need to fear
Though you may feel a lot of stress about getting a root canal, you can feel positive about the appointment. Your endodontist can relieve your pain and restore your tooth to a healthy state. If you have excessive tooth pain, visit with the dentist today and find out whether you need this procedure.
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