An endodontist is a dental specialist who is trained to diagnose and treat problems of the dental pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. Endodontic treatment, also known as root canal treatment, is necessary when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed.
Common signs that a person may need endodontic treatment include:
- Severe toothache or pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth
- Darkening of the tooth
The most common endodontic treatment is a root canal procedure. During this procedure, the endodontist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp, clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth, and then fill and seal the tooth to prevent reinfection. After the root canal treatment is completed, a crown or other restoration will be placed to protect the tooth.
Endodontic treatment is typically performed under local anesthesia, and most patients experience little to no pain during or after the procedure. The success rate for root canal treatment is very high, and most treated teeth can last a lifetime with proper care.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to see an endodontist as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and causing more severe damage.