What is an Endodontist?
An Endodontist is a dentist who has undergone extra postgraduate specialist training ( usually a minimum of 2 years ). In the UK, admission to the Endodontic Specialist List and the status of Specialist in Endodontics is given by the General Dental Council of Great Britain and N.Ireland after a rigorous assessment procedure.
Specialist training allows an Endodontist to:
Your general dentist sometimes refers patients for consultation when the diagnosis is complicated or when treatment is more difficult than normal.
Aside from providing treatment, Drs.Webber and Lamb’s role is also that of educators. It is important that patients understand why they require treatment, what treatment involves and what they can do to ensure the best possible outcome. A properly informed patient has the best chance of achieving the optimal result.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a specialty of Dentistry that deals with diseases of the dental pulp and its supporting structures.
Endodontic Treatment is an economical way to preserve a tooth in function especially when the cost of tooth loss and replacement is so high.
Endodontists are Dentists with special post-graduate training in this field and 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 or more difficult than usual.
ANATOMY OF A TOOTH
In order to understand what Endodontic Treatment or Root Canal Treatment is, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth.
Teeth have several layers.
- The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called Enamel.
- The Dentine layer which is protected by the Enamel layer 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 Dentine 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.
WHY WOULD I NEED ENDODONTIC TREATMENT
Endodontic Treatment or Root Canal 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 chips. Trauma can also cause inflammation 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.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Indications for treatment include
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling of the gum adjacent to the tooth
- Tenderness of the tooth especially to biting or adjacent gums. Sometimes there are no symptoms and the first sign of a problem maybe radiographic evidence coroborated with additional diagnostic testing by the Endodontist
HOW CAN ENDODONTICS HELP ME?
The Endodontist removes the inflammed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Most treatment is now performed in a single appointment ranging from 45-120 minutes (depending on the number of canals). Once treatment is completed, you will be instructed to return to your dentist for a permanent restoration. The restoration of the tooth is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned and filled canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth and restores it to function.
Please follow the links above for further information on these topics.
Find out more at www.savingteeth.co.uk
Root Canal Treatment Process Explained Step by Step
Courtesy of American Association of Endodontists.
Private Dentistry Award for Julian Webber
Julian Webber was recently recognised for his “Outstanding Contribution to Private Dentistry” at the Private Dentistry Awards. With over 35 years dedicated to Endodontics, his role in developing this specialty in the UK has been acknowledged with this prestigious national award.