An Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy, procedures that involve the soft inner tissue of the teeth known as pulp.
While all dentists are trained in endodontic therapy, or root canal therapy, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. This is why you have been referred to Precision Endodontics. In addition to dental school, Dr. Soden received three years of advanced education in this kind of treatment.
What Happens During Endodontic Treatment?
At the center of your tooth is pulp, a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases.
We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and will probably be comfortable returning to your normal routine. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.
Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occurs, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.
Pulp damage is sometimes caused by a blow to the mouth. Endodontists also specialize in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, a blow to a child’s permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A procedure called apexification stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. In addition, an endodontist is able to perform procedures for reimplanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.