Restore Tooth Health With Endodontics
What is an Endodontist?
Most people don’t really know the difference between a general dentist and an endodontist – we’re here to clear the air and help you understand the difference.
Endodontics is the area of dentistry focused on the study and treatment of the dental pulp. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth and includes the tooth’s living connective tissue and cells. It also houses the tooth nerves and blood vessels. If this area of the tooth becomes injured or diseased, it often results in serious tooth pain and sensitivity. When infection and damage in the dental pulp goes untreated, they can cause the tooth to die. The goal of endodontic treatment is to restore the health of the tooth and prevent the need for tooth extraction.
During root canal therapy, our dentist removes the injured and infected tissues from the tooth, thoroughly cleans the tooth, and fills the tooth. The tooth is then filled with a restoration.
Why Would You Need to See an Endodontist?
Ottawa Endodontics & Root Canal Specialists
Endodontists are ofter referred to as the root canal specialists. Although general dentists can also perform root canals and other endodontic treatments, an endodontist performs specific treatments much more frequently and have additional training as well. Some of the main reasons that you would need to see an endodontist include:
- Tooth Decay
- Tooth Abscess
- Root Canals
- Severe Tooth Aches
- Broken/Cracked Teeth
Frequently Asked Questions
If you need to have a root canal to treat infected tooth pulp and don’t have one done, then the infection is very likely to spread to the gums and jawbone that surrounds the infected tooth. This will lead to the loss of that tooth. In more severe cases, more than one tooth and even part of your jaw could be lost.
Most of the time, it is not necessary to take antibiotics after an endodontic treatment. If your dentist deems it necessary, then they will prescribe antibiotics for you. This will ultimately depend on your medical history and whether or not you have preexisting conditions that make you more likely to develop an infection.
We are firm believers in saving a tooth whenever possible. When comparing endodontic therapy to a tooth extraction, a root canal is usually the better option. Root canals have shorter recovery times and a less painful recovery process. Also, when a tooth is extracted, there is the matter of replacing the lost tooth, which means more dental appointments and procedures, and more healing and adjustment time when the tooth is replaced. There are still some situations where tooth extraction is the better course of action, however we will always aim to save a tooth if it is possible.
To prepare for a root canal, it is incredibly important to follow your dentist’s instructions. Some general tips you can follow to help you be as prepared as possible include:
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco for a full 24 hours before the procedure.
- Eating a couple of hours before the procedure if allowed by your dentist.
- Take a painkiller (ibuprofen or acetaminophen) a couple hours before the treatment starts to reduce swelling.
- Ask your dentist questions so you fully understand what is going to happen.
- Get a full night’s sleep before and after the procedure to help with the initial recovery process.
The length of time that endodontic therapy takes will ultimately depend on two factors. The first is how many roots the tooth has, and the second is how bad the pulp infection is. Root canal treatments are usually completed in one or two visits that can range anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes each.