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What is endodontics?

If you are experiencing a severe toothache it can have a negative impact on your quality of life. Luckily, this is where endodontists are able to help. In today's post, our Toronto dentists explain endodontics, what it is and what procedures fall under this category.

What is endodontics and what does an endodontist do?

An endodontist is a highly-skilled specialist. Endodontists specialize in the treatment of severe tooth diseases that mostly affect the tooth pulp (the interior of teeth). They employ innovative procedures to treat dental pulp and root tissues. Endodontists work with the primary goal of resolving the issue at hand while preserving your natural tooth.

What is tooth pulp?

The tissue inside of your teeth is called pulp, and it consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. The tooth pulp supplies nutrients to your teeth and protects them from potential dangers such as extreme temperatures, cavities, and trauma. It can also regenerate dentin.

Pulpitis is when your dental pulp becomes inflamed. It can be caused by tooth decay (as a result of inadequate dental and gum care) or a broken tooth (an inflamed or infected tooth pulp). In some cases, pulpitis can produce a terrible toothache. It can occasionally progress to a major health concern that needs immediate medical care.

What does an endodontist do?

Endodontists are also known as root canal dentists since they conduct root canal surgery on a regular basis. They also conduct other dental procedures such as fillings and crowns.

Some other procedures they perform include:

  • Endodontic retreatment: removing and replacing materials that might not have healed properly from a previous root canal 
  • Emergency Surgery: repairing complex dental injuries and other tooth-related traumas
  • Tooth extraction: pulling a tooth out when it becomes too damaged or diseased
  • Endodontic Surgery: specialized surgeries, including an apicoectomy (removing the end, or tip, of a tooth’s root).

What do endodontists treat?

Endodontists focus on treating the interior tissues of your teeth. They can also treat a tooth's root tissues if said root tissues have undergone extreme damage. This damage can occur from a variety of sources, including tooth decay, tooth abscesses, and even cracked teeth.

Do endodontists test teeth?

Yes, your endodontist is able to test your teeth for various conditions. They can do so via tapping on teeth and hot or cold swabs to test for possible sensitivities as well as performing dental x-rays.

What happens after I have had an endodontic procedure?

The recovery time needed for endodontic procedures depends on what was performed. Most endodontic treatments are outpatient operations where the patient will return home after the procedure has been completed. Some patients even feel good enough to return to work the same day. More extensive surgery may result in a more prolonged recovery period. To thoroughly safeguard and restore your healed tooth, your endodontist may place a crown (metal or porcelain covering) on top of it.

In what situations would I need to contact an endodontist?

If you have a toothache that won't go away or becomes worse, it's might be time to see an endodontist. The longer you wait to get your tooth analyzed, the less likely it is that your provider will be able to save your natural tooth. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as you are experiencing ongoing tooth pain.

Signs you may need to call a professional include swelling near the painful area, sensitivity to heat or cold, unexplained pain in the mouth and/or jaw, and long-lasting tooth pain.

Regardless of the oral issue that you are experiencing, all dental concerns should be addressed. If you damage your mouth in an accident or encounter suspected indicators of infection, such as a toothache or dry mouth, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Signs of infection include a fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or redness or swelling in your mouth that moves to your cheeks.

If you have any more questions about endodontics or would like to learn more please contact our Toronto dentists today.

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