What Does an Endodontist Do? Types of Root Canal Procedures
Endodontists routinely perform root canals, but that is not their only focus area. They serve a range of complex procedures that can relieve pain and restore oral health.
Endodontists treat problems inside the tooth, such as when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. Treating these issues requires particular skills. If you choose between an endodontist and a general dentist to perform your procedure, it is wise to choose a specialist.
Root canals are endodontists' most frequently performed procedures. They become necessary when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed due to decay or dental trauma. A tooth needing a root canal is often painful and can prevent the patient from chewing on that side or relaxing.
The endodontist administers local anesthesia, which makes the procedure painless. They open the tooth's crown and remove the pulp. They reach the canals with special tools and remove traces of pulp. A CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scanner helps the endodontist see into these tight spaces.
The endodontist smooths the root canals to make repeat infections less likely. Any remaining infection may need treatment with antibiotics.
When the tooth is clear of infection, the endodontist refills it with gutta-percha. The patient then returns to their general dentist for a permanent crown.
Root canals have many significant benefits, such as relieving pain and saving natural teeth from extraction. If a tooth can receive a root canal and crown instead of an extraction, it can save the patient time and money and protect their oral health.
Sometimes root canals fail, and the tooth again becomes painful. This situation happens more often when a general dentist performs the initial root canal. To complete endodontic retreatment, the endodontist needs to reopen the tooth, clean the canals again, and eliminate the infection before closing the tooth.
The patient may need apical surgery when the infection progresses into the root tip. This procedure is also known as endodontic surgery or an apicoectomy.
During an apicoectomy, the endodontist opens a small flap in the gum tissue and removes the tip of the root as well as a small amount of bone. The endodontist clears the infection and places a filling in the root tip. They suture the area to protect it while it heals.
A pulpotomy is sometimes called a "baby root canal" because endodontists often perform it on primary teeth. The endodontist removes the infected pulp from the tooth's crown during a pulpotomy.
Call Rhode Island Endodontics
Dr. Usman Fazli has performed thousands of root canals and other endodontic procedures. Rely on his expertise to relieve your pain and solve your problem. If you have a toothache or have experienced dental trauma, call our office at 401-337-9150 for information or to make an appointment.