When it comes to treating your teeth and gums, you need the best possible care if you want to keep your smile healthy and problem-free. It means practicing good oral hygiene habits daily at home and having regular dental cleanings and exams to spot problems early (when they are easier and least invasive to treat). Ongoing regular dental care (with the goal of keeping your teeth for a lifetime) is vital for your healthiest smile.
But what happens when teeth become diseased or infected with decay? And what is the difference between a dentist and an endodontist when you need extensive care? Our endodontic team doesn’t recommend pulling teeth unless you have no other option. Saving teeth should be a top priority when possible because no replacement is as good as a healthy tooth! And you don’t want to leave tooth gaps behind if a tooth is removed as this also affects the remaining teeth. They will shift out of their proper position in the space left behind, affecting your speech, appearance, and chewing function.
Dentist vs. Endodontist
Do you know the difference between a dentist and an endodontist when you need help with your teeth? Dentists are typically the primary care provider for your mouth, teeth and gums. Using dental X-rays, dentists diagnose issues and work with you on fixing tooth decay and gum disease. They also fill your cavities, perform root canals and replace extensively damaged teeth with crowns, bridges, or dental implants.
But while all endodontists are actually dentists, less than three percent of dentists are actually endodontists! As endodontists, this means we have an extra two to three years of training after completing four years of dental school. We focus on diseases of your teeth’s pulp so we can save failing teeth by performing endodontic treatment. In fact, we are known as specialists of saving teeth, using our training combined with advanced technology and materials so that your natural teeth may be saved.
We believe maintaining your best oral health means doing everything possible to keep your natural teeth for your oral health and appearance. Our specialty deals with the soft oral tissues and your tooth’s pulp and nerves. Our doctors have the training and equipment to perform root canals and retreatment as well as treat traumatic injuries.
Root canals are done on teeth that have infected or inflamed soft tissues or pulp inside the tooth and when decay reaches the tooth’s nerves. In the case of a root canal that didn’t heal properly, still has pain, or acts up down the road (even years later), a root canal retreatment can be done to save the tooth. Our endodontic team can also work on repairing traumatic tooth injuries.
Our specialized expertise means we spend all of our time focusing completely on treating the tooth’s pulp, and whereas a dentist typically works on an average of two root canal treatments a week, we perform on average 25 root canal treatments a week, backing up education and training with ongoing experience. Our focus is solely centered on diagnosing and treating your tooth pain, so we can dive deeper than your dentist might as we can pinpoint the origin of your oral and facial pain that might go undetected otherwise.
Our leading-edge technologies mean we can make your time in the chair as successful as possible. We isolate the affected tooth during your treatment to keep the rest of your mouth safe from the infection. Our imaging lets us see all of the tooth’s intricate anatomy to view the tooth’s tiny canals, nerves and connective tissue for optimal treatment.
Our training and education also mean we are experts in managing oral pain. We know what to do and what to use to keep you most comfortable during your procedure. We employ the most effective numbing medications that work even on patients who in the past have experienced difficulty staying numb during their treatment. We can also keep your mouth pain-free as the tooth pulp infection and inflammation goes through the healing process.
We hope today’s blog gave you the insights you needed when treating your damaged tooth. No one is better equipped to restore your tooth’s health than an endodontic team! We are dedicated to your safety, comfort as well as appearance. Call us today if you need help with a troubled tooth in your smile!