You see your dentist twice a year for cleanings, but what is an endodontist? And when do you need to see one?
Find out firsthand from West Omaha dentists what an endodontist is and what you can expect from treatment here.
What Is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dental specialists trained to diagnose and treat tooth pain. As opposed to general dentistry, endodontists focus on the roots of your teeth. They concentrate their practice on treating the inside of the teeth.
Generally speaking, when you see an endodontist, they will examine your teeth to identify the problem. After a diagnosis is made, your endodontists will discuss treatment options – whether you need a root canal or oral surgery. If you move forward with endodontic treatment, it may begin immediately and have everything cleared up in one appointment.
What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Endodontist?
While both attend dental school, endodontists pursue two or more years of postgraduate training. Additionally, whereas dentists provide a wide range of dental services, endodontists typically focus on treating tooth pain with root canal therapy.
Dentists receive some endodontic training in school. Many dental practices like Eagle Run West Dental Group offer certain endodontic procedures, while others send patients to specialists.
Oftentimes, your dentist will refer you to an endodontist if your case is particularly challenging. For example, if your tooth has complex anatomy with extra canals or roots.
What Does an Endodontist Do?
An endodontist performs endodontic treatments to help mitigate tooth pain. As mentioned above, the goal of endodontics is to save your natural teeth. However, your endodontist will assess the situation before determining the right approach.
Three of the most common endodontic procedures include:
Root Canal - Root canals are the most common endodontic procedure. The procedure is needed when the pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth, is infected. Root canal therapy is usually necessary as a result of deep cavities or dental injury.
Apicoectomy (surgical endodontics) - If root canal therapy isn’t enough, an apicoectomy may be necessary. This procedure includes removing the tip of the infected root so the endodontist can remove tissue and seal the area.
Dental Implants - If saving the tooth isn’t an option, your endodontist may recommend dental implants. Dental implants are surgically implanted into or above the jawbone in stages. Once placed, they provide lasting support for ten years or more.
When Should You See an Endodontist?
It’s time to see an endodontist if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
Dull ache in the jaw
Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold
Discomfort while chewing
Most people see their dentist when they have tooth pain, which is the right call! In many cases, tooth sensitivity is caused by cavities or gum disease.
However, if you’ve experienced any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you may want to see an endodontist. Their specialized focus and advanced diagnostic tools can help determine the best treatment for you.
Endodontic Treatment in Omaha, NE
Seeking endodontic care can help save your teeth and prevent restorative work in the future.
Whether you have questions about what endodontists do or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 402-498-8804 or contact us today! While severe cases may be referred to an endodontist, most of our patients are treated at our dental office in West Omaha, NE.