Many dental procedures can be performed at your dentist’s office. Yet, in certain situations, you’ll be referred to a specialist. If the issue deals with the inner tooth, most likely, an endodontist will become involved. Endodontic services focus on the tooth’s interior, pulp, and the tissue around each tooth’s root. Since endodontics is a specialty, only specific services fall into this classification. Common treatments include root canals, apicectomies, and endodontic retreatment services. An endodontist is also able to perform procedures and surgeries to save a severely decayed tooth.
If you’re in need of endodontic treatment services in Ellicott City, MD, contact Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman of Access Endodontics by calling 410.304.7226 or by reaching out online today.
Types of Endodontic Procedures
There are many different endodontic procedures. Each involves the inner tooth and the tissue around the root.
When most people think of endodontic procedures, they think of root canals. This is understandable, as root canals are the most common procedure for endodontists.
Root canals are necessary when the tissue inside the tooth becomes infected. This can occur due to tooth decay, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma.
When an endodontist provides this service, they complete the following steps:
- Drill into the tooth – Your endodontist will create an access hole in the top of your tooth. This will allow them to remove the damaged or infected pulp inside the tooth.
- Remove the pulp – Once the access hole is complete, your endodontist will remove the diseased pulp inside the tooth.
- Clean and shape the inside of the tooth – After the pulp is removed, the endodontist will clean and shape the inside of the tooth.
- Seal the tooth from further infection – Finally, the endodontist will seal the tooth, preparing it for a dental crown.
Once complete, you will return to your general dentist for a permanent crown. This crown will provide additional protection for your tooth.
Endodontic Retreatment After Endodontic Services
Ideally, a root canal lasts forever. However, at times, there are cases where things go wrong. When this occurs, endodontic retreatment could be vital in saving the tooth and giving it a second chance.
You may need retreatment for several reasons. First, too much time may have lapsed between the initial treatment and the placement of the crown. During this time, the tooth may have sustained damage causing a relapse of the infection. Additionally, the tooth’s anatomy may have been more complex than realized, and some tissue may have been left behind. Or possibly, an injury may have led to a cracked tooth or filling, exposing the root and leading to infection.
The retreatment involves the removal of the crown and root canal filling. During this time, your endodontist will assess the damage and treat the areas that are affected. This may involve additional cleaning and shaping of the tooth. Finally, your endodontist will refill the root canal and place a new crown.
In some cases, you may have had a root canal but still experience pain. This could be a sign that the infection is beneath the roots, extending into your jawbone. Your endodontist may recommend an apicoectomy if this is true.
An apicoectomy is a relatively standard procedure in endodontics. It is a minor surgical technique used to save a tooth that is at risk of being pulled after a root canal.
During the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic. Then your endodontist will make a small incision to gain access to the root of your tooth. They will remove the root tips and any infected tissue. Finally, the endodontist will suture the incision. Over time the jawbone and tissue will heal around the roots.
Caring for Your Oral Health after Endodontic Services
Once you’ve had endodontic services, it’s essential that you practice good oral hygiene. Continue to brush twice each day and floss daily. You should also visit your general dentist for biannual checkups and cleanings. This will ensure that your tooth is healing properly and that no further issues are present.
Endodontists Treat Traumatic Injuries
If you suffer from an injury to your teeth or gums, your treatment will begin with a visit to the hospital emergency room, physician’s office, or regular dentist’s office. Chances are that you’ll be referred to an endodontist, as they are the specialist in this area.
The reason for this is that so many traumatic injuries involve damage to the tooth’s interior, an endodontist’s specialty. This includes cracks, breaks, or loss of teeth due to trauma. Many times, specialists can save a tooth after a traumatic injury. First, however, a root canal must be done to ensure that the tooth remains healthy.