WHAT IS ENDODONTIC SERVICES?
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth. Endodontic services involve procedures that are used in order to save your tooth/teeth. The services range from a wide approach, from relieving pain and discomfort to improving your overall mouth health. The purpose of the procedure is to treat the inside of the tooth, an endodentist who specializes on the anatomy of the tooth/teeth, will be the one to perform the procedure, which may involve a simple service or surgery in complex cases.
WHY WOULD I NEED AN ENDODONTIC PROCEDURE?
Endodontic treatment would be necessary when the pulp becomes enflamed or infected. The cause of inflammation or infection may be due to:
- Deep decay
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth or a crack or chip in the tooth
- A blow to the tooth/teeth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks
Signs of pulp damage include:
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
Sometimes there are no symptoms. In the event that the pulp (*is the part in the center of a tooth made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts) infection or inflammation is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess (*Tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red, the middle of which is full of pus and scattered pieces of the remains of the tooth).
HOW DOES THE TREATMENT SAVE THE TOOTH?
By removing the inflamed or infected part of the inside of the tooth the procedure ensures that the inflamed or infected area is cleaned and shaped carefully so that when the space fills, seals and then heals the tooth is restored to full function like any other healthy tooth.
WILL I FEEL PAIN DURING OR AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Since the procedure is designed to relieve pain and treat the inflammation or infection, there may be an experience of slight discomfort, however due to the methods of modern techniques and anesthetics even minor discomforts can be alleviated. Most patient's have reported that they didn't feel any discomfort during the procedure. After the procedure you may experience slight to medium discomfort due to your tooth or teeth feeling sensitive, however this is normal and can be temporarily relieved using over-the-counter prescription medications. If you are experiencing severe pain or pressure please contact your dentist or endodontist for evaluation. It is advised that you follow your dentist's or endodontist's instructions concerning post-care treatment, his/her advice will ensure full restoration and less time required for your tooth to heal.
IF I DON'T WANT TO UNDERGO ENDODONTIC TREATMENT WHAT ARE MY ALTERNATIVES?
If the pulp of a tooth is quite damaged, the only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. However, in order to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting, after the tooth has been extracted it must be replaced with an implant or a bridge. This requires a surgical or dental procedure on adjacent healthy teeth and this can be far more expensive and time consuming than endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth. The effectiveness of modern replacements have shown their efficiency and worth, however nothing comes close to the natural tooth.