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What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a field of dental practice involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. Inside the root of a tooth lies the root canal, which contains the dental pulp. This is a soft tissue containing blood vessels and nerves. The pulp can become inflamed or infected subsequent to tooth decay, deep restorations, cracks, or trauma. If this oocurs, it is usually possible to treat and save the tooth by endodontic treatment (root canal treatment).
What is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat diseases of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. Endodontists first complete a general dental degree which is typically five years of training. They must then gain a minimum of two years experience in general dental practice before commencing their specialist degree. The specialist training programme consists of a further three years of full time advanced specialty education, focusing on areas such as diagnosis, use of operating microscopes, root canal treatment, re-treatment, and endodontic surgery. Endodontists then limit their practice solely to endodontics and remain experts in the field.
This involves removal of inflamed or infected dental pulp, cleaning and then sealing the root canals to prevent reinfection. After endodontic treatment is completed, your dentist will restore the tooth back to function with a filling or a crown.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to re-do root canal treatment, usually if an infection occurs after the initial treatment. The procedure typically involves re-opening the tooth and removing the previous root filling material, disinfecting and then re-sealing the root canals. This procedure is more complicated and often requires advanced techniques to achieve the best result. Endodontists use specialised technology and experience to perform retreatment procedures.
This procedure typically involves the removal of infected or diseased tissue at the end of the tooth root using microsurgical techniques. Endodontic surgery may become necessary if initial endodontic treatment is unsuccessful, especially when conventional retreatment is complicated by other factors.