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Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal Therapy)

If your dentist has referred you to an endodontist for endodontic treatment (also known as “root canal therapy”), you might be wondering what’s involved.

What exactly does an endodontist do, and what happens during root canal therapy? Endodontists are specialists who help to save teeth. Endodontists are expertly qualified to perform root canal treatments and to diagnose and treat tooth pain. In the distant past, many patients would have needed an extraction, losing the tooth entirely. Endodontists help to repair damaged teeth.

Your general dentist may be able to perform a root canal themselves, however you may be referred onto an endodontist, if there are complications such as trauma, abnormal anatomy or additional roots.

Below is a general overview of endodontics, as well as what you can expect if you choose to undergo a root canal treatment by a specialist endodontist.

What is the field of endodontics?

Endodontics is a field within dentistry, focusing on the study of the dental pulp and the tissue and nerves that surround it. These specialists tend to concentrate not only on the biological and clinical elements of dental pulp, but also the symptoms of disease or injury to those areas. They also focus on solutions and how to treat any problems relating to dental pulp.

What makes an endodontist different from regular dentists?

In addition to dental school, endodontists typically undergo a minimum of two additional years of postgraduate study. Once they’re certified, endodontists will generally register with the Dental Board of Australia as a specialist.

While a dentist may address pulp-related issues from time-to-time, endodontists often deliver related treatments much more frequently. Put simply, they specialise in all of the related techniques and equipment that are used to perform procedures like root canal therapy. They will often perform treatments under a microscope to ensure precision and efficiency.

For complex dental issues, your regular dentist may refer you to an endodontist to achieve the best possible results. Seeing a specialist endodontist may also help give you the peace of mind that your oral health is being looked after by someone who specialises in the field related to your dental issue.

What sort of treatments fall under endodontics?

The field of endodontics can include microsurgery, trauma management, apicoectomies and emergency dental work. However, the most common type of treatment within endodontics is a root canal. 

What is root canal therapy and why is it done?

Root canal treatments can help practitioners save a diseased tooth. It’s best to consult your dentist about your options and if they think you should see a specialist endodontist. Root canal therapy involves removing the damaged pulp from inside the tooth, and then refilling the interior of the tooth to prevent further infection. Using specialist equipment, an endodontist can also remove foreign objects from tooth canals.

Sometimes you may need a crown after undergoing root canal therapy. Depending on the damage to the tooth structure, a crown might help preserve a weakened tooth and prevent further damage or complications. Our dental team can advise you on the best course of action.

Does a root canal hurt?

Over the years, root canals have become almost synonymous with pain. Without modern technology or pain relief, it’s true that they were probably not very comfortable for patients in the distant past. However, with the advent of modern dental equipment and techniques, fewer and fewer patients experience that same level of discomfort.

However, your own experience will depend on your circumstances and the exact type of procedure needed. We can advise you on what to expect and will always communicate with you about your treatment – we take every precaution to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.

If you want to learn more about an endodontic treatment, please speak with us today.

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.