What Is an Endodontist?
Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that involves restoring the inside of a damaged tooth, usually through root canal therapy. While many general dentists offer root canals, few are as skilled and well-qualified as a trained endodontist. As specialists in this area, we here at Mt. Scott Endodontics are honored to provide the best possible endodontic care to all members of our community!
When Is It Time to Visit Our Office?
Generally speaking, each tooth is comprised of three major biological materials: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The pulp, which contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerve endings, can be found at the center of every tooth. It also extends down to the roots and is largely considered the lifeblood of each tooth.
If the enamel layer is damaged due to tooth decay or trauma, it can leave the dentin and pulp vulnerable to infection. An infection in the pulp is not only extremely painful; it can threaten the life of the tooth. For this reason, a severe toothache usually requires the help of an endodontist and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Why Visit an Endodontist?
According to the American Association of Endodontists, less than three percent of dentists receive extensive endodontic training. In addition to four years of conventional dental school, endodontists like Matthew R. Baumgarth, DDS, MS complete another two to four years of specialized education. This means we provide endodontic treatment that is safer, more comfortable, and more effective than that of a general dentist.
Ultimately, you may be referred to an endodontist to save a diseased or damaged tooth from extraction. While we mainly do root canal therapy, we also offer some other procedures to address cracked teeth and dental trauma. We will be able to determine what type of endodontic treatment you need during your initial consultation appointment.
If you do decide to visit a root canal specialist, you should always try to find one that is a member of the AAE, or American Association of Endodontists. A licensed endodontist who belongs to this organization is held to the highest standards of care. Top-notch endodontic care leads to a more comfortable treatment experience, better overall outcomes, and even a faster healing process.
What Does Endodontic Treatment Involve?
We offer several different forms of endodontic treatment, some of which include:
Most of these treatments involve the removal of the infected or diseased tooth pulp, dentin, or enamel. To help save the tooth, we must stifle the spread of infection by removing the pulp and replacing it with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha.
Sealing off the root canals with gutta-percha helps keep bacteria out of the tooth and prevent future infections. However, a tooth without the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues found in the pulp typically becomes very brittle over time. For this reason, most teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment are usually capped with dental crowns. Crowns help restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth.
Schedule an Appointment Now!
If you suffer from severe tooth pain, or you have simply been referred to our office, our team is here to help! Call (503) 698-4484 to schedule your initial appointment now!