Endodontists are dentists who specialize in treatments for the inner parts of teeth, specifically root canal therapy. After completing undergraduate studies and earning a doctoral degree in dentistry, an additional two to three years of endodontic study is required. This advanced education and hands on training allows an endodontist to perform even the most advanced endodontic procedures.
The innermost layer of a tooth is called the pulp. As primary and adult teeth are formed, the blood vessels and nerves that later become the pulp forms the tooth, connect it to the rest of the body, and form the center of a healthy tooth. When trauma or infection reaches this inner layer of the tooth, the result is a severe toothache. Advanced decay, severe facial trauma, untreated cracks and chips, or failed dental restorations can all lead to a need for root canal therapy. This treatment is used to prevent the loss of the entire dental structure that may occur. Instead, we remove the damaged inner pulp layer of the tooth to relieve toothache pain and remove damaged structure. Then, we refill the tooth with a filling material known as gutta percha and refer you to your general dentist for the permanent restoration.
Contact Dr. Deborah Bishop right away if you experience any of the following indicators that root canal therapy may be necessary:
We use local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth, making root canal treatment very comfortable. Following treatment, you may experience minimal discomfort. However, this can typically be abated with the use of over the counter pain relievers such as Advil Liquid Gel (ibuprofen) or Tylenol Rapid Release (acetaminophen).
A tooth is quite small, and endodontic work is focused on the tiny inner structures of teeth. There are numerous, narrow branches and paths inside the tooth, and in order to navigate these, we use microscopes. These specially crafted operating microscopes allow Dr. Bishop to have a detailed view of the interior part of the tooth while she performs even the most advanced forms of endodontic care. As the first endodontist in the state to use surgical microscopes during endodontic treatment, Dr. Bishop is proud of the high quality work she performs through experience. In addition to magnifying the dental structures, surgical microscope also provide superior illumination of these inner tooth structures. Dr. Bishop is able to clearly see the inside of the tooth in detail, and she offers precise, conservative care. We can also capture high resolution digital images of the magnified dental structures. These can be shared with patients and your general dentist for improved communication and treatment planning.
Following root canal therapy, you will return to your general dental office where a permanent filling or a dental crown will be placed. Dr. Bishop will communicate with your dentist to share all of the pertinent information about your treatment including procedure notes and digital images. We will do whatever we can to ensure the longevity of your root canal procedure in partnership with your general dentist.
When a tooth is infected, the blood supply (pulp) running through the tooth is affected as well. As a result, there is no way to conduct the antibiotics to the needed area. They do however, assist in controlling and eliminating infection in the surrounding bone before and after root canal therapy.
In as much as 95% of root canal procedures, patients report experiencing complete success, keeping the treated tooth for their lifetime. Dr. Bishop uses the highest quality materials and the most advanced techniques and technologies to ensure patients have every opportunity to retain their root canal treated tooth.
Inflammation is the body’s way of healing. If you have ever had a bug bite, cut, or bruise, you have likely observed swelling and redness as a result. This is inflammation. It is no surprise that, after undergoing root canal therapy, you may experience some inflammation as the body undergoes the healing process. If you experience severe discomfort or continued discomfort beyond 10 days after your treatment, please contact Dr. Bishop right away.
You won’t know for sure that you need a root canal until we’ve examined your mouth, but there are some telltale signs you can watch out for. For example, persistent tooth pain is usually a key indicator that there’s an infection. Also, if the tooth has recently become discolored or is now sensitive to heat and cold, that is usually a good indicator that something is wrong. Keep an eye out for swollen gums and take notice if your tooth becomes mobile to any degree.