What is an Endodontist? Everything You Need To Know

Within the field of dentistry, there are lots of specialist fields that deal with specific parts of the teeth, gums and oral health. You might see an orthodontist to straighten your teeth or a periodontist to deal with gum problems. You might be familiar with the work of an endodontist, without knowing much about this role.

Endodontists specialise in treatment of the tissues inside the tooth and the health of the tooth root. They are most commonly known for the root canal procedure, which is an often feared and misunderstood treatment. Root canal treatment gets a bad reputation for being painful and uncomfortable, but this isn’t always the case. If you have been referred to an endodontist, don’t panic, this doesn’t mean you’re in for a painful treatment, it simply means you need to see a specialist.

What is an endodontist

What is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist that undergoes additional training in the treatment of dental tissues found inside the tooth. If you have an issue affecting the inside of your tooth, you may be treated by your regular dentist, or you could be referred to a specialist.

The most common procedure carried out by an endodontist is the root canal. This is an intricate and precise procedure that involves removing infected tissue from the inside of a tooth and then cleaning it out before strengthening, filling and topping the tooth with a crown.

The roots of your teeth can be incredibly difficult to navigate with small tools, particularly when there are multiple canals. This is why some dentists undergo additional training to learn how to carry out an effective dental restoration.

What can an endodontist do

What can an endodontist do?

The role of the endodontist is to diagnose and treat issues related to the tissue inside your teeth. This softer tissue is prone to infection following a dental cavity. If left untreated, this can lead to a painful abscess. Without proper intervention, this could then require an extraction and you might lose the natural tooth.

The endodontist is often your last chance to save a natural tooth before it needs to be extracted. They can help to remove an infection from inside your tooth and then restore the functionality of the tooth so you will no longer be in pain. Without this essential intervention, you might lose your natural tooth and then you would have to explore restorative options.

When would I need to see an endodontist

When would I need to see an endodontist?

You might be referred to an endodontist if you have a painful infection in your tooth. If you have tooth decay that has led to an abscess, you will need to see a specialist to explore your treatment options. Before exploring extraction as an option, your endodontist will look at the health of the tooth and the complexity of the tooth roots. They will then advise on the best course of action.

Sometimes root canals can fail, so if there is a high likelihood that the treatment will be unsuccessful, your endodontist might recommend an extraction. However, if they are confident the treatment can be done and your tooth can be saved, they will explore the root canal option.

Root canal treatment can fail, and if this happens you will need to decide if you want to attempt the treatment again or choose an extraction. Throughout the process, your endodontist will be there to advise you on the best course of action. This is one reason that working with an endodontist specialist can help to improve your treatment plan.

Closing thoughts

If you are referred to an endodontist, don’t panic. While this could mean that you will need a root canal treatment, the treatment plan isn’t likely to be as bad as you are expecting.

Root canal treatment gets a bad reputation because it is commonly performed on teeth that have an active infection, which makes it more difficult to numb the area. However, advances in local anaesthetic treatment mean that dentists are far better at numbing teeth than ever before.

Your endodontist will do everything they can to numb your tooth so you can enjoy a complete restoration and avoid an extraction. This is often the best way to preserve your natural teeth, so there’s no reason to fear an endodontist referral.

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