faq

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics: The branch of dentistry concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic and clinical sciences including the biology of the normal pulp and the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.

The scope of endodontics includes, but is not limited to, the differential diagnosis and treatment of oral pains of pulpal and/or periapical origin; vital pulp therapy such as pulp capping and pulpotomy; nonsurgical treatment of root canal systems with or without periradicular pathosis of pulpal origin, and the obturation of these root canal systems; selective surgical removal of pathological tissues resulting from pulpal pathosis; intentional replantation and replantation of avulsed teeth; surgical removal of tooth structure such as in root-end resection, bicuspidization, hemisection and root resection; root-end filling endodontic implants; bleaching of discolored dentin and enamel (teeth); retreatment of teeth previously treated endodontically; and treatment procedures related to coronal restorations by means of post and/or cores involving the root canal space.

Endodontist: A dentist with two or more years of advanced training in the scope of endodontics who has received a certificate in endodontics from an advanced education program accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation and who limits his or her practice to endodontics. (Dentists who limited their practice to endodontics prior to recognition of the specialty in 1963 are also recognized as endodontists.) The endodontic specialist is responsible for the advancement of endodontic knowledge through research, the transmission of information concerning the most recent advances in biologically acceptable procedures and materials, and the education of the public as to the importance of endodontics in keeping the dentition in a physiologically functional state for the maintenance of oral and systemic health.

What can I expect on my visit?

A typical visit to an endodontist begins with completing paperwork, which includes your medical history and consent forms. It is advisable to bring a list of all the medications (over-the-counter and prescription) that you regularly/have taken within the past month. Once all forms are complete, an assistant will review and chart your chief complaint, referring dentist’s information and history of the tooth pain before taking x-rays of your teeth.

Once your first set of x-rays are complete, you will be greeted by your endodontist, who will review your paperwork and evaluate symptoms prior to testing the tooth in question along with adjacent teeth. After the tests are complete, a diagnosis will be given to determine the best treatment care and prognosis. Possible post-treatment decisions such as a crown on the treated tooth will be addressed.

Your endodontist will make you aware of the benefits, options and risks involved in order for you to understand how endodontic treatment is a way of saving your tooth.

If you decide to receive treatment, the procedure may start immediately. Before treatment begins, you will receive local anesthesia to numb any sensations you may feel during the procedure. If the procedure is unable to be completed within one visit, medicine may be placed inside the tooth between appointments.

Once your procedure is complete, more x-rays are taken to track the success of the treatment. You will be provided with review sheets that include your post-operation instructions and what to expect over the next few days. Be sure to contact your endodontist if you have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment.