What Is Endodontics?
Head and Neck Pain Diagnosis
Causes of head and neck pain can be from teeth and other oral structures, but frequently it is not. Many painful conditions mimic tooth pain, and a proper diagnosis is essential to pain relief and a successful outcome. Toothaches and cracked teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint. Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth can be felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats this type of pain.
Root Canal Treatment
The procedure of a root canal is the process of removing unhealthy tissue from the space within the tooth. During this process the tooth is disinfected to remove inflammation or infection. After the canal space is cleaned and dried, it is filled with a root canal filling material to minimize the re-entry of bacteria. Root canal treatment, if indicated, allows you to preserve your natural tooth in a healthy state.
Root Canal Retreatment
Root canals have a high success rate. Sometimes a tooth that has had a root canal may not heal and become painful or diseased. Frequently a repeat of the root canal, called root canal retreatment, can resolve the problem and save the tooth.
Cracked teeth can be very difficult to locate and diagnose. Endodontists are experts in this type of diagnosis. Cracked teeth are often painful. The options are varied depending on many different factors, which Dr. Pafford will discuss with you.
Internal Tooth Bleaching
A tooth can become discolored following trauma. Often internal tooth bleaching is an option to restore the color of the tooth. Often internal tooth bleaching is a conservative and less expensive option a crown or veneer when a tooth is discolored.
Pulp damage is sometimes caused by trauma to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, an injury to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. Procedures called apexification and revascularization may be done to stimulate growth of an immature tooth. An endodontist is specially trained in procedures such as these and in replanting teeth that have been displaced.
Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)
In some circumstances, surgery is needed to remove a persistent bone infection around a tooth with a root canal. Dr. Pafford will thoroughly review this procedure and alternatives with you during your consultation.