You have a serious, painful toothache. You go to your family dentist, expecting to get the treatment you need, but then they say that you need to see an endodontist in Concord. Although you may not want to have to go to a different office, this actually a good thing! This specialist has the advanced training necessary to bring you relief and get you back to full oral health. In this post, learn more about this specialty within dentistry and why you may need it to keep your teeth healthy and happy.
What is an endodontist?
In short, all endodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are endodontists. In fact, only 3 percent of dentists become endodontists. On top of dental school, earning this specialty requires two or more additional years of training, giving them the knowledge and skills to perform procedures on the inside of natural teeth to treat diseases of the pulp, to save the tooth, and relieve tooth pain. With an average of 25 root canals in a week, compared to maybe 2 or 3 a week done by a general dentist, endodontists are experts at executing root canals, addressing dental injuries, and placing dental implants.
Why did my dentist refer me to an endodontist?
As a general practitioner, your dentist may not have the requisite skills in this particular facet of dentistry to address the problem. That’s where an endodontist comes in. The following are four reasons why you may be referred to an endodontist.
If your dentist thinks that your tooth’s pulp has become infected, they may refer you to an endodontist to evaluate you and maybe also perform the root canal in Concord. A conventional root canal entails going through the crown or top of the tooth into the center to access the infected portions of the pulp. When they’ve cleared away the decay, they seal the tooth from bacteria and reinfection and place a prosthetic dental crown on top to restore the tooth’s structure and function.
Root Canal Retreatment
Although root canals that are capped with a dental crown are successful over 90 percent of the time, they can fail. In this situation, an endodontist has the experience necessary to resolve the problem with the right treatment.
When a tooth cracks or breaks, bacteria can make their way to the pulp much more easily and cause an infection. Many times, the solution is a root canal, which can salvage the tooth after an injury or accident.
Sometimes, when a traditional root canal fails, it can mean that the infection has spread from the tooth to the jaw bone. In this case, you may need an apicoectomy, or a minor surgical procedure that removes the very tip of the tooth’s root. Basically, instead of the conventional way of accessing the infection through the tooth to access the tip, the endodontist goes through the gum tissue.
In the end, if you are sent to an endodontist, you can rest assured that your hurting tooth will not remain that way for long. Your smile is in capable hands with this specialist. Instead of looking at tooth replacement options, you can continue to use and enjoy all of your natural teeth for many years to come.
About the Practice
At Afton Endodontics, Dr. Gregory Gell and Dr. Kathryn Watts provide high-quality care for patients in the Concord area. Dr. Gell is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, a prestigious status in dentistry, and Dr. Watts is currently board eligible and is working toward Diplomate status with the American Board of Endodontics. To make an appointment with them, you can call (704) 784-4625 or click here.