If you’ve been suffering from a severe toothache for several days, your first though will likely be to make an appointment with your regular dentist. However, they may refer you to an endodontist in North Carolina instead. What is an endodontist, and what sort of treatments do they provide? And why should you turn to them when you have a smile that needs saving? Read on to learn more about these specialists and how they can help you.
What is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in performing endodontic procedures. Basically, they have special knowledge training in treating the insides of your teeth. Becoming an endodontist requires two years of advanced training in addition to regular dental school. Also, an endodontist will generally have more experience performing complex endodontic surgeries and locating the source of oral and facial pain.
What Kind of Procedures Does an Endodontist Perform?
Endodontic procedures are usually performed when the pulp (the soft tissue with all of the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves) becomes infected or inflamed due to tooth decay or some kind of physical injury. Damaged pulp causes a lot of pain, and you might notice other symptoms such as swollen gums or tooth discoloration; also, the infection in your tooth can eventually spread to other parts of your body. An endodontic treatment (which is more commonly called root canal therapy) removes the pulp, stopping the pain and avoiding the need for tooth extraction.
The procedure normally involves one or two visits. After the endodontist examines the tooth, they’ll numb the area and use a sheet called a “dental dam” to keep it free of saliva. The next step is to make an opening in the tooth before using small instruments to carefully clean out the pulp. The inside of the tooth is then reshaped and filled with a special material. The last step is to restore the tooth with a crown, which is normally done by a regular dentist.
Why See an Endodontist for Root Canal Therapy?
While regular dentists can perform root canals, endodontists have more training and experience with the treatment. In addition to the extra training they’ve received, an endodontist completes about 25 root canals a week on average, while a dentist may only perform the procedure 2 or 3 times during the same period. In other words, endodontists are experts when it comes to endodontic treatment – and when it comes to saving your teeth, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re getting the best care available.
Get in touch with an endodontist near you right away if you have tooth pain that lasts more than a couple of days. You can rest assured that soon the cause of your discomfort will be taken care of, and you’ll be able to keep your natural tooth instead of looking for a replacement.
About the Author
Dr. Gregory C. Gell received his Certificate in Endodontics from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Dental School in 1998. His practice, Afton Endodontics, employs state-of-the-art scanning equipment and advanced microscopes in order to provide the most precise, effective endodontic care possible. To schedule an appointment or ask about root canal therapy, visit his website or call (704) 784-4625.