What Is Endodontics?

Abbas Raissi, DDS, Inc.
Practice Limited to Endodontics

What Is An Endodontist?

An Endodontist is a dentist who has completed a minimum of 2 extra years of postgraduate training in the field of Endodontics. This postgraduate specialty training prepares the Endodontist to:
1. Diagnose and treat diseases of the dental pulp and supporting structures.
2. Diagnose facial pain and related problems.

Your general dentist sometimes refers patients for consultation when the diagnosis is complicated or when treatment is more challenging than normal. Aside from providing endodontic treatment, Dr. Raissi's role is also that of an educator. It is important that patients understand why they require endodontic treatment, what endodontic treatment involves and what they can do to ensure the best possible outcome. Dr. Raissi believes that a properly informed patient has the best chance of achieving the optimal result.

What Is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a specialty of Dentistry that diagnoses and treats diseases of the dental pulp and its supporting structures. Endodontists are dentists with special post-graduate training in this field. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.

Although General Dentists can perform Endodontic treatment, patients are often referred to an Endodontist when the case is complicated to diagnose or more difficult to treat than usual.

In order to understand Endodontic treatment, it helps to know about the anatomy of a tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called Enamel. Enamel is supported by an inner layer called Dentin, which has at its center a soft tissue known as the Pulp.

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding Dentin and Enamel during tooth development. The pulp receives its nourishment supply from vessels which enter the end of the root. Although the pulp is important during development of the tooth, it is not necessary for function of the tooth. The tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it even after the pulp is removed. Endodontic treatment is a way to save diseased teeth by removal of the pulp (the diseased part of the tooth).

Why Would I Need Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation or infection are deep cavities (caries), repeated dental procedures, cracks or fractures. Trauma can also cause inflammation of the pulp and often shows up as discoloration of the tooth. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

How Do I Know If I Need Endodontic Treatment?

Indications for Endodontic treatment include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling or tenderness of the tooth or adjacent tissues. Endodontic treatment may be indicated even when there are no clinical signs and symptoms. Please see your General Dentist if you suspect you require endodontic therapy for a diagnosis and/or a referral to our office.

How Can Endodontic Treatment Help Me?

Endodontic treatment helps save your tooth by removing the diseased portion of the tooth (the pulp). Endodontic treatment also relieves the toothache and prevents future infection. The Endodontist removes the inflammed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Once the treatment is completed, you may be instructed to return to your dentist for the permanent crown.

Will I Feel Pain During Or After The Endodontic Treatment?

Toothaches are the main reason for patients seeking endodontic treatment. Fortunately, modern anesthetics can make the procedure painless in most cases. Seeking treatment early makes the procedure more comfortable, so don't wait. When caught early, treatment should feel no different than having a regular filling. For the first few days after treatment, there may be some sensitivity to biting pressure, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure (the tooth may feel sore). Most of the time over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (like Advil or Motrin) are recommended for a few days after endodontic treatment. Dr. Raissi can prescribe other medications although they are rarely required.