When we think of teeth, we most often picture the hard, pearly-white parts that brighten up the smile. But there’s much more to our teeth than what’s visible on the surface. Deep inside of each one lies a network of tiny, cavern-like passages called canals, which contain sensitive living tissue, including blood vessels and nerves. Treating the soft tissue inside the tooth, also called the pulp, is the primary concern of endodontists (“endo” = inside, “odont” = tooth).
In our everyday experience, we’re not usually aware of these minute canals, which extend from below the chewing surfaces through the roots of the teeth. But when something goes wrong with them, chances are we will know about it right away: Inflammation and pain in the tooth’s pulp can be quite severe. Getting relief from the pain and controlling an infection in the pulp tissue may require root canal therapy, or another treatment of the tooth’s soft tissue. These procedures, along with many others, are frequently performed by endodontists.
Root Canal Specialists
To become an endodontist, a candidate must first graduate from an accredited dental school, and then successfully complete two to three years of postgraduate training in this special practice area. Endodontists must also be licensed in the state where they practice, and must remain current with continuing education requirements.
Endodontists aren’t the only dentists who can perform pulp treatments such as root canals. However, because their practice is limited to treating the soft tissues of the tooth, they do so more frequently than other dentists. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), these specialists perform an average of 25 root canal treatments per week, as opposed to less than two per week for general dentists. This gives them a tremendous amount of clinical experience to draw from.
The offices of many endodontists are also equipped with state-of-the-art dental technology. Advanced devices such as operating microscopes, digital imaging systems, ultrasonic instruments and fiber optics allow them to treat their patients efficiently and comfortably. Because, after all, who wants to spend more time in the chair than necessary?
There’s no need to be worried if your dentist or endodontist prescribes a root canal procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. Millions of teeth are treated and saved this way every year, relieving pain and making teeth healthy again.
As a Specialist Endodontist, Jane Bracken is highly experienced in making this treatment safe, effective and comfortable. The root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. During the treatment, the inflamed or infected soft tissue inside the tooth is removed carefully, and the inside of the tooth is gently cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed.
At Bracken Barrett, we practice the most advanced and modern of root canal treatments, which can be relatively painless and extremely effective. Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive and invasive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. Saving the natural tooth with root canal has many advantages which include efficient chewing, normal biting force and sensation, maintaining a natural appearance and protecting your other teeth from excessive wear. Jane Bracken is proud to be a dental phobia-certified dentist, and our clinics can also offer sedation for patients who may be anxious about dental treatment.
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