What is

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerning dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of a tooth.Endodontic treatment, or root canal treatment, treats the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in saving teeth.

Endodontics specialists are familiar with a number of diseases that involve the dental pulp and the procedures to treat them.The dental pulp is the innermost part of the tooth.

The pulp is protected by the outermost part of the tooth, the enamel, as well as by the dentin that lies underneath the enamel.

This hard casing of the pulp protects it from becoming infected by microbes present in the mouth. In cases of tooth decay, this outer cover erodes away to form holes or cavities that expose the dental pulp to these microbes as well as to hot and cold temperatures.

Since the pulp is rich with nerves and blood vessels, infection of the pulp can lead to sensitivity and toothache.

Nothing but the tooth.

What does an
Endodontist Do?

Endodontists are sometimes called root canal dentists. While general dentists and endodontists can both perform root canal treatment, endodontists perform this procedure much more often. This higher volume and additional training translates to endodontists’ higher level of expertise in performing root canal treatment.

Endodontists specialize in diagnosing complex causes of tooth pain. They also perform other dental surgeries, including:

  • Endodontic retreatment: Removes and replaces materials used during a previous root canal that did not heal properly.
  • Emergency dental surgeryMay involve repairing complex dental injuries or treating severe tooth infections.
  • Tooth extraction (removal) surgery: Pulling a tooth when its tissues are too severely damaged to be saved.
  • Dental implant surgery: Surgical placement of a dental implant which can then be used to support prosthetics, such as bridges, to restore look and function after a tooth must be removed.
  • Endodontic surgery: Specialized surgery, such as apicoectomy (removal of the end, or tip, of a tooth’s root).

What do endodontists treat?

Endodontists primarily treat tooth’s pulp (interior tissues) or root tissues that have undergone damage from some of the following causes:

  • Tooth decay, such as an untreated cavity from plaque that damages a tooth’s root tissues.
  • Tooth abscess, a buildup of pus that forms when bacteria gets inside your tooth or gums).
  • Tooth injuries due to trauma (such as a hard fall).
  • Cracked tooth, when a crack extends to a tooth’s pulp tissue.

When should I see an

Waiting to get your tooth evaluated may decrease the chances your provider will be able to save your natural tooth.

You may need to see an endodontist if you have:

  • Lingering tooth pain.
  • Unexplained pain in your mouth or jaw.
  • Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold or sweet foods.
  • Inflammation (swelling) near affected teeth or gums.

Some causes of tooth pain (such as a tooth abscess) can pose a serious threat to your health if left untreated long enough. Seek immediate treatment if you injure your mouth in an accident or experience possible signs of infection, such as:

  • Fever.
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Redness or swelling in your mouth that expands to your cheek

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