What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist specializing in the treatment of the dental pulp (or nerves) that lies inside the tooth, hence the Greek etymology “endo” which means inner then “odont” which means tooth. The endodontist performs root canal therapies ranging from simple to very complex including endodontic surgery.
That said, Dr. Julie Leduc and Dr. Lisa Kozloff are endodontists at the Center of Dental Specialists and Implantology. They both practice microendodontics and use the latest technologies.
Understanding the anatomy of a tooth is necessary to understand endodontic treatment.
Inside the tooth, below the layer of enamel and the hard layer called dentin, one finds a soft tissue: the pulp. It is important during growth and during the tooth development phase. When a tooth has reached full maturation, it can survive without this pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the surrounding tissues. There are blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the end of the roots. It is at this point that it comes into contact with the tissues surrounding the root.
Why was I referred to this specialist?
Your general dentist refers you to an endodontist when, among other things, the pulp of your tooth becomes infected or inflamed. Sometimes there are no symptoms. When there are, the most common are prolonged sensitivity to cold and heat, pain, sensitivity of the adjacent gingiva, swelling of the gum, and discoloration of the tooth.
Your tooth may also need to be treatedendodontically in the following cases:
- Deep caries
- A mobile seal
- A cracked or fractured tooth that may cause a new infection
- The discovery of very fine and curved canals that could not be treated in the initial procedure
- A new trauma (shock on the tooth)
- In rare cases, when the endodontically treated tooth does not heal or continues to be sensitive even after successful treatment
It is possible that your case is complex. It may be a more complex anatomy, such as a molar, calcified canals or difficult access. Your dentist may not have had the training to perform some complex procedures. Endodontists are recognized specialists who have a postdoctoral training and training required to perform such cases.
The importance of keeping you natural teeth…
The majority of teeth can be treated endodontically. However, due to the condition of the tooth (severely fractured roots), the anatomy of the tooth (canals not accessible), the lack of adequate bone support or because the tooth can no longer be restored (advanced decay),some teeth cannot be treated. Extraction of the tooth may therefore be necessary. Following extraction, in order to restore normal fonction, the tooth can be replaced by a crown on implant or by a bridge.