An endodontist focuses on saving the teeth. Root canals are one of the procedures that these professionals do often. You may need a root canal if the pulp of a tooth has become damaged from an injury or decay. Read on to learn more about whether to choose a dentist or endodontist for this procedure.All…
What is Surgery from an Endodontist Like?
An endodontist has several tools at their disposal when it comes to saving teeth. Root canal therapy is the most common way to repair a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected. It involves cleaning out the damaged tissue in a tooth and disinfecting it.
Surgical procedures from an endodontist
At times, root canal therapy is not enough to save a tooth. When that is the case, an endodontist might explore surgical alternatives. As is the case with root canals, most of these surgical procedures are performed to save the patient's tooth. Reasons an endodontist might decide to explore surgical options include:
- As a diagnostic tool: When x-rays are not sufficient enough to diagnose a patient with persistent symptoms, the endodontist might decide to perform surgery to closer examine the tooth's root. Treatment can be administered once the issue has been properly diagnosed.
- To clean calcium deposits: At times, calcium deposits that build up on teeth surfaces can prevent non-surgical treatments like root canals from reaching the end of the affected tooth's root. Oral surgery can be used to clean out areas with such deposits so treatment will be effective.
- To fix failed root canals: Teeth that have been fixed with a root canal are usually problem-free for the rest of the patient's life. In a few rare cases, the treated tooth might not heal properly or become re-infected. Surgical treatments can be used to address such teeth.
- To treat damaged roots: Oral surgery is also used to treat damaged teeth roots or supporting bone structures.
The most common surgical procedure performed by endodontists is called a root-end resection or an Apicoectomy. It is used to treat an infection or inflammation in the bony structures around a tooth following a root canal. It is often used when root canals have already been used to treat the tooth but the patient's symptoms persist.
Other surgical procedures an endodontist might recommend include the surgical repair of an injured tooth's root, cutting a tooth in half or removing a tooth's roots. In some cases, the endodontist might use intentional replantation to treat a severely damaged tooth. This involves extracting a tooth, treating it while it is outside the mouth and replacing it into its socket.
Teeth extractions are also classified as surgical procedures, but they are usually the last option the endodontist explores. The one exception to this rule would be the case of wisdom teeth. Dentists often recommend extracting wisdom teeth the first time a problem develops since they are not necessary for good dental or overall health.
When a dentist extracts one of the patient's teeth, they often replace it immediately with an implant or some other prosthetic. This prevents bone tissue loss that typically occurs when a tooth falls out.
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