What is Endodontics?

 

Terrible tooth ache.

Endodontics is one of nine specialties recognized by the ADA. Whereas orthodontists do endless numbers of braces, endodontists do endless numbers of root canals. Official estimates have the average endodontist performing 17 root canals per week, as opposed to general dentists performing 2 or fewer.

 
That caseload generates a lot of experience. Furthermore, endodontists train for three years after dental school. They learn the intricacies of the inner tooth, and focus on pain management. Root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful. But improved training and practices over the last few decades have largely reduced that reputation to myth.

 
Thanks to our expert in endodontics in West Hollywood, your root canal procedure is relaxed and routine. Even root canal emergencies are handled with ease. It’s common for a root canal to become necessary after trauma, like a blow to the mouth. This can happen a lot to children or adolescents who sustain sports injuries or other accidents. If the tooth involved is a baby tooth, an endodontist would need to address the pulpal injury immediately in order for the tooth to be saved.

 
For more about endodontics, contact our cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood.

Three Questions to Ask Your Root Canal Doctor

Woman at the dentistry

A root canal procedure is no longer a source of dread—at least, if you do your research. Knowing exactly what goes down while you’re in the chair—everything from the history of root canals to the instruments used—can act tremendously toward your peace of mind.

If you’re at a loss for good questions, try the following:
Is a root canal preferable to a simple extraction?
In some cases, you may want to keep your tooth. There are concerns—some of them legitimate—about the inability to fully sterilize the affected tooth. No matter how thorough your specialist is, it’s not always possible to eradicate every microbe from the interior of the tooth. If this is a sticking point for you, ask your root canal doctor in Los Angeles about the advantages of extraction.

What are the chances my root canal will fail?
The most recent data projects the odds of root canal success between 85 and 97 percent. When procedures fail, it’s often because they were performed by general dentists instead of endodontists. General dentists who lack endodontic training may misuse tools or fail to irrigate or seal properly.

What do you replace the inflamed tissue with?
A secondary material called gutta-percha—used in the making of canes in the 1800s—is placed inside the tooth. As stated above, it is not always possible to remove all bacteria from the root canal. The goal is to preserve the tooth, and to limit leaks and the possibility of retreatment.

Complications Arising from Root Canals

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Root canal treatment usually goes smoothly, but complications can occur for a variety of reasons. Errors during the procedure and anomalies in tooth anatomy are often involved when problems do happen. Here is a look at the most common types of root canal complications.

Re-Infection

Errors or missed infected tissues can allow a tooth to become re-infected right after a root canal or later. Insufficient cleaning, delayed crown placement, and incomplete removal of infected tissue from abnormal tooth canals may be involved in these cases.

Root Perforation

Tooth roots are very delicate and often shaped in unusual ways, and they sometimes become punctured by instruments during a root canal procedure. In some cases, such punctures can be repaired immediately with no further issue.

Root or Crown Fracture

Following root canal therapy, teeth, and especially their roots, are more brittle than before. Further treatment, failure to place a crown, and habitual teeth grinding all can potentially fracture weakened roots. This often makes extraction necessary.

Complications of root canal treatment can happen during the procedure or later. Fortunately, complications are unusual and are treatable in a variety of ways. You can schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles endodontist to learn more about endodontic complications.

Tooth Decay and Its Treatment Options

When the plaque in your mouth feed on sugar, they create a harmful acid byproduct that eats away at the enamel of your tooth. This process is known as tooth decay. Treatment of tooth decay depends on the level of severity.

If the acid has only started to eat away at your enamel and a cavity has not yet formed, it may be possible to treat the decay with fluoride toothpaste. If enough enamel has been destroyed to the point that a cavity has developed, then a dentist will need to remove the decayed portion of your tooth and restore it with a dental filling. Dental fillings can be made of gold, silver amalgam, composite, and ceramic. If your tooth has been severely damaged by decay, the tooth may no longer be able to support itself when our Los Angeles endodontist removes the decayed portion. In this case, you will be fit with a crown. If tooth decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, then a root canal treatment will become necessary. In this procedure, the infected pulp is removed from the root canal of your tooth. The root canal is then flushed and cleaned, and an antibiotic may be administered to heal the infection. Once the root canal treatment is finished, a crown will be placed over the treated tooth for support.

If you are suffering from tooth decay, contact our expert in tooth decay treatment in Los Angeles to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

What Endodontists Do

A tooth that is abscessed, infected, severely decayed or badly damaged may need a root canal treatment or endodontic therapy. This treatment can help save the structure and function of the tooth, and it offers a conservative alternative to dental extraction, which removes the entire tooth. Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist if you need a root canal treatment.

What is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental specialist who uses endodontic therapy to treat the soft tissues within the tooth. These tissues, which are also known as the pulp of the tooth, contain the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissues. Although all dentists receive training in endodontic treatment, an endodontist receives additional training that allows him or her to manage complex treatments and use a variety of techniques for hard-to-treat cases.

During the procedure, the tooth will be carefully numbed, and a special sheet of latex or non-latex material will be placed over the tooth to isolate it. Also called a dental dam, this material keeps the area clean and dry. Once we make an access point in the tooth, the diseased soft tissues will be removed. We will then flush, clean and disinfect the inner chambers or canals of the tooth. To finish the job, the tooth will be sealed, filled and restored using a porcelain crown. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our Los Angeles endodontist.