What is an endodontist?
To understand the full extent of how an endodontist in Birmingham could improve your oral health and your smile, it first helps to have an understanding of endodontics as a discipline. Endodontics is a specialised field of dentistry which is focused entirely around the root and pulp area of a patient’s teeth. Whilst every endodontist is technically also a dentist, very few dentists are endodontists, as it is a field of study which requires an additional three years and is highly specialised. Identifying and diagnosing tooth pain is one of the key roles of an endodontist, as is carrying out root canal therapy, which is a complex yet crucial procedure when restoring a tooth back to full health. Endodontics is a fundamental, key discipline within dentistry and one which any dental practice would fail to function properly without.
Diagnosing tooth pain
Teeth are highly sensitive, and contain clusters of nerves within them which exist to determine temperature. Toothache can be one of the most obstructive pains, regardless of the severity of pain, and can cause a number of aspects in a patient’s daily life to become difficult. Chewing, conversing, concentrating or even sleeping are all commonly interrupted in those who are experiencing toothache. There are several different forms of toothache, and determining the severity and cause of the trauma is one of the key roles of an endodontist. Toothache can range from between mild, momentary sensitivity when eating something hot or cold, to continual, severe pain throughout the day. The prior of these, if the pain is not persistent, is typically nothing to be concerned over . However, the latter is usually an indicator that there is something wrong within the interior of the tooth, and that an endodontist may have to examine it to determine the source of the pain and what the correct course of treatment may be.
Root canal treatment
A root canal, or an endodontic treatment, is a procedure which is designed to rid a tooth of any build-ups of infected bacteria within its root canal. A ‘root canal’ is the natural cavity that exists within a tooth’s root. If the pulp within this canal becomes infected, then a root canal treatment is then called for. If an infected tooth root is not cleared away, then it could potentially lead to abscesses or other serious dental health consequences. The basis of treatment is to open up the tooth, before removing all the infected pulp, refilling the tooth and sealing it back together. It is a serious dental procedure which requires great skill and dexterity on the part of the endodontist, although it is something which is carried out thousands of times a year. Throughout the treatment, the patient is under the effects of local or general anaesthetic, and as such does not experience any amount of severe discomfort. Completion of a root canal treatment can usually be carried out in as little as one or two dental appointments, and can fully and permanently restore an infected tooth to full health. Anyone who feels that they may be in need of root canal treatment ought to speak to their local endodontist and arrange to begin treatment.