Today we broach a little technical sounding treatment category called endodontic treatments. Let us understand what these are and what kind of treatments fall under this category of treatments. The purpose of this blog is to make you aware of the options you have for treating damaged teeth because the more aware you are the more informed decision you can make about your line of treatment as per your budget, lifestyle and impact on your future dental health.
Who are Endodontists?
Dental specialists who specialize in saving teeth. All endodontists are dentists but not all dentists are endodontists. They study more than dentists about diagnosis of tooth pain, root canal and other procedures related to the inside of the tooth. Endodontists treat tooth decay, tooth abscess (you can read more about tooth abscess in our blog titled Tooth Abscess), cracked or fractured teeth and tooth injuries. They are sometimes called root canal dentists however they do much more than just root canals. Endodontists are experts at managing a wide range of complex endodontic problems in an efficient manner. Their purpose is to save the natural tooth because no artificial tooth can replace the look and function of a natural tooth.
What treatments come under Endodontic Treatments?
Coming back to the most important question we have to answer in this blog is what kind of treatments come under endodontic treatments. Endodontic procedures involve the inner tissues like the pulp and the nerves in any treatment. Endo means inside and odont pertains to teeth. Endodontists diagnose the problem using x-rays, sensitivity to hold and cold swabs and tapping the affected tooth.
- Root canal – One of the most common of all the endodontic treatments is the root canal treatment. When the innermost part of the tooth, the pulp gets infected then this treatment is required to save the tooth. The infection can be caused by cavities in the teeth, fractures to the tooth, dental injuries or even repeated dental procedures. The procedure involves carefully removing the infected portion and cleaning the root canals and sealing them off. It is generally performed under anesthesia and may need multiple visits to the dentist. The symptoms that one is in need of a root canal may not always be apparent. Some people experience toothache, swelling of gums, tooth sensitivity etc. while many do not experience anything. Generally, an x-ray is needed to diagnose the problem properly. In case the problem is left untreated it can result in tooth abscess and eventual tooth loss besides causing severe discomfort.
- Endodontic surgery – If the problem is not solved by a root canal it is possible that your dentist may recommend an endodontic surgery. The surgery allows the endodontists to locate minute canals, any fractures which may not be visible even in an x-ray. Some surgeries are recommended to remove calcium deposits in the root canals or treat any damage to the root or bone surrounding the root during a root canal. This type of a surgery is very accurate, quick and comfortable now a day due to advanced technology.
- Emergency dental injuries – Some dental injury can be as a result of sports or accident of some kind. Many a times these can be minor like chipped teeth or dislodged tooth but in some cases, it can be a major injury. Endodontists treat the traumatic dental injuries. The treatment in such cases will depend upon the severity of the injury and the location and type of injury as well.
- Dental Implants – If the infection or injury is so serious that the natural tooth cannot be saved then the endodontists will proceed with extracting the teeth. Ideally endodontists take all measures to save the tooth even in the severest of cases however they may go for extraction as a last resort. Endodontists also perform dental implant surgeries.
- Endodontic retreatment – In case a root canal was not done properly or if the teeth does not heal properly then a retreatment may be needed to remove and replace materials used in the root canal that did not end well.
Just like the American Dental Association there is a professional society of endodontists which has more than 8000 members worldwide. It is called the American Association of Endodontists. You can checkout their website https://www.aae.org/ for more information on who are endodontists, how are they different from dentists, what kind of problems do endodontists resolve, the types of treatments they offer and when to see an endodontist. The website covers all the above information given in this blog in much more detail with patient FAQs and testimonials too. Besides these they have many patient education articles. Their motto is not surprisingly “Worth Saving”.
In conclusion we would like to say Endodontic treatments save teeth and endodontists are tooth saviours.
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