What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental specialist trained to evaluate and treat pain associated with your teeth. If the nerves and blood vessels of a tooth have been irreversibly damaged, rather than extracting the tooth, an endodontist may attempt to save the tooth by performing a root canal treatment. In addition to treating routine cases, they are experts in performing complicated procedures including surgery. They often treat difficult cases, such as teeth with unusual or complex root structure or small, narrow canals. Endodontist are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
Teeth consist of two main parts, the crown and the root. The crown is what you see when looking in the mouth and the root is the part of the tooth below the gum line. The root canal is a tunnel or canal containing the pulp, which consist of blood vessels and nerve tissue. This is the tissue removed during a root canal treatment. There is generally speaking no difference in a tooth which has had a root canal and one without a root canal.
What is a root canal?
During a root canal treatment a small opening or access is made on the chewing surface of the tooth. The pulp is removed and a root canal filling called gutta percha is placed in the root canal.
Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your restorative dentist. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Discomfort may be alleviated by taking any prescribed medication for moderate discomfort or ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed for mild discomfort.
Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately. An endodontist will be on call and will return your call promptly.
After Completion of Endodontic Treatment: Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. Please call for a follow-up appointment 6 months after treatment at no additional fee.