Endodontists are specialists in treating the roots and pulp of a tooth. In other words, they work to save the natural teeth and reduce or remove tooth pain caused by infections in the tooth pulp. Endodontics is one of nine recognized dental specialties in Canada.
What are Endodontic Procedures?
Endodontic procedures include root canals and endodontic surgeries, which aim to save the natural teeth by treating infections within the roots (or pulp) of the teeth. The Greek word “endo” means “inside,” while the Greek word “odons” means “tooth.” Endodontists are trained in various diseases, infections, and conditions that can occur in the pulp of the teeth.
Root canals are a non-surgical procedure in which infected tooth pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth, leaving the hard structure of the tooth intact. Root canals are a fairly common and straightforward procedure. In most cases, a single root canal treatment will take care of the issue and leave you with an intact tooth.
Endodontic surgeries are less common than root canals but may be necessary in cases when a root canal will not be enough to save the tooth. It can also help an endodontist explore the inside of the tooth more thoroughly, potentially finding canals or calcium deposits within canals that were not picked up by x-rays.
There are several types of endodontic surgeries, including tooth sectioning, root amputation, and apicoectomies. Your endodontist will recommend a surgical plan that is based on your specific needs.
For example, endodontic retreatment surgery may be necessary if a tooth has developed new issues or if the original treatment did not work as intended. An apicoectomy (also known as root end surgery) is a surgical approach an endodontist may take if an infection has continued to spread after a root canal. In an apicoectomy, the very tip of the root is removed and filled in.
Endodontists may also be part of a dental care team when there are injuries that affect the pulp of the teeth, when there are root defects, or when there is unexplained tooth pain that a general dentist has been unable to diagnose or treat. For example, when a tooth has become abscessed, it may require more specialized endodontic treatments.
General dentists can also perform root canals. However, your general dentist may refer you to an endodontist when you need a complex or difficult root canal. You will also be referred to an endodontist for endodontic surgical procedures.
Endodontists are dentists that have completed two or more years of advanced training to become recognized under the specialty. Additionally, endodontists must limit their practices to endodontics. In other words, an endodontist works solely on diagnosis and procedures dealing with the tooth pulp, such as root canals and endodontic surgeries.
Endodontists are also required to stay up to date on their education with additional training and continuous learning.
Book an Appointment with an Endodontist
The 123Dentist network of dental care professionals includes dental specialists focused on endodontics. If you’re suffering from tooth pain, search for an endodontist in your area.