An endodontist is a highly skilled and trained dental healthcare professional who has undergone further dental education, possibly several years of additional training in comparison to standard dentists. Many individuals may not have heard of the study of ‘endodontics’, endodontists actually make up less than three per cent of dentists who are currently practicing.
What do they do?
Endodontists focus on the diagnosis of tooth pain, as well as root canal treatment, and may be a point of referral for many patients who are suffering from issues concerning the inside of the tooth. Not only have endodontists received several years further training, they also hold a steady hand, and have excellent procedural precision, making them fully qualified to look after even the most complicated root canal cases.
Patients who may be referred to an endodontist
Despite common misconception, patients are not only referred to an endodontist if they are suffering from tooth pain, they may also have an infection of the tooth, or heightened sensitivity to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Patients who wish to receive a highly specialised and modern dental treatment, whilst preserving the function and appearance of their natural teeth, may choose to see an endodontist.
Why not just see a regular dentist?
Many patients may be reluctant to go out of their way to visit a dental specialist, however endodontists can offer many things that dentists unfortunately cannot. Standard dentists do in fact deliver root canal treatments, although the frequency does differ greatly, endodontists deliver roughly twenty-five a week, whereas dentists may only administer two. Endodontists have the benefit of experience, and are more likely to have treated more complicated root canal cases.
Aside from the treatment itself, endodontists also have specialist training in pain management, meaning they may be better at treating even the most nervous patients. Endodontists strive to ensure their patients are as comfortable as possible when receiving root canal work, delivering the best possible medications (numbing treatments) during, and even after the treatment has been completed.
Modern dental technologies
Despite dentists being fully qualified to deliver root canal treatment, endodontists may have special materials and technologies that allow them to ensure the treatment goes smoother, and quicker. Just one example is a thin sheet of rubber (professionally referred to as a ‘dental dam’) which is placed over the mouth, this ensures the rest of the dental area is protected, whilst focusing on the isolated tooth itself. Digital imaging techniques allow the endodontist to take detailed photographs of the inside of the tooth, allowing them to investigate any infections or concerns in better detail.
Why is it important to receive root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment may be necessary for patients who are suffering from an infected pulp, which may be due to damage or injury of the tooth. If a patient’s tooth is left untreated, the infection may consequently spread to the whole root canal system, this can lead to an abscess or the removal of the whole tooth.
A simple treatment process Patients may be concerned about the length of time the procedure takes, however the time period varies greatly depending on the tooth itself, although it should only range between one to two hours.