When you go to your dentist with a painful tooth, they may recommend that you get a root canal for treatment. After this suggestion, you will likely have several questions. Do I have to go to another office to see an endodontist? Can my dentist do a root canal? The answers to your questions depend on where you get your dental care.
Before you schedule a root canal, you need to know a little more about this procedure and the doctors who provide it to make an informed decision about who you see for this type of treatment.
Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment that addresses infection or inflammation inside the tooth.
The outer layers of your tooth protect the pulp inside from infection. But, when you have decay or a crack in a tooth that lets bacteria in the tooth, you may experience pain from the growth of those bacteria. To treat the pain, you need to have a dental professional either remove the infection from inside the tooth or pull the tooth.
Many people opt for a root canal because they want to keep their teeth. Root canal therapy typically does not cause any more pain during healing than having a filling, and the process takes only one or two visits, making it convenient.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, yes, you need one. Dentists recommend root canals to treat traumatic injury to teeth, deep dental decay, and fractured teeth. All of these situations involve the contamination of a tooth’s interior with bacteria that can infect the matter inside.
The root canal process will ease your pain by removing the painful swelling caused by the infected pulp inside the tooth. Without a root canal, the bacteria that caused the infection can spread out to other parts of the body. An abscess can happen from an unchecked infection. In rare instances, people have developed infections in their organs from an infection inside a tooth that spread through the blood.
Don’t take a recommendation for a root canal lightly. Getting a root canal can save the tooth and may even protect you from a life-threatening infection.
The only other alternative treatment for an infected tooth is an extraction. However, extractions come with several potential complications, such as the other teeth in your mouth shifting, an incomplete smile, and a dry socket.
If you choose to have an extraction, you may also want to replace the tooth with an implant, which will prevent many of the complications caused by having a missing tooth. However, the implant process requires surgery and takes longer than getting root canal therapy.
When it comes to caring for your teeth, you may find that you need both treatment from a dentist and an endodontist at some point in your life. These two types of dental doctors have different areas of focus and treatment specialties.
Dentists examine your teeth and care for problems encompassing the outer portions of the tooth. For example, a dentist may spot a shallow cavity during a routine exam. They treat this issue with a filling to prevent further decay.
The types of care dentists offer include preventative, restorative, and cosmetic.
During preventative exams, the dentist looks at your teeth and gums to evaluate the state of your oral health and if you need additional care.
Restorative treatment returns function to your teeth with fillings, crowns, or dentures.
Whether you need preventative exams and cleanings, restorative dentistry care for surface damage, or cosmetic services for smile improvement, you should see a dentist.
Endodontists start off their education by getting their dental degree, so they have all the knowledge and skills of dentists. However, endodontists continue their professional development and learning by taking additional courses for another two to three years to earn their certificates in endodontics.
The field of endodontics focuses on treating the pulp deep inside the tooth. Because the tooth’s interior includes the nerve, endodontists have extra training in preventing pain while working on such a sensitive area in their patients.
So, if you need treatment for the internal parts of your tooth, you need to see an endodontist.
Dentists can technically do root canals, but the procedure does not fall into their area of expertise. They focus mainly on treating the exterior of teeth to restore appearance or functionality. Root canals require treatment of the canals inside the tooth that house the pulp.
Consequently, if you need a root canal, your dentist may recommend that you see an endodontist who has received the specialty training to perform this and other treatments on your tooth’s interior.
Endodontists have years of additional work to hone their skills in diagnosing and treating conditions inside the tooth, including root canal therapy. They also get extra practice at their specialty work than dentists do over the course of their careers. Dentists average two root canals weekly for those who perform them, while endodontists may do over two dozen a week.
Endodontists have training in preventing pain, so patients today have painless root canal experiences. Thanks to the expertise of endodontists, root canals performed today by them do not cause any pain while in the dental chair and only produce minor pain during recovery.
Most general dental offices only have dentists on staff. Therefore, in many cases, if you have a dentist recommend that you see an endodontist for a root canal, you will have to go to another office for the treatment and return to your dentist for a crown.
However, Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry stands out by having an endodontist on staff. You won’t have to go through the process of finding an endodontist and becoming a new patient at another office when you need a root canal.
Choosing Cedar Walk ensures that you also have specialty treatment available when you need it from the same office you choose for your regular dental care.
At Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we make it easy to get almost all your dental care in one place. We accommodate patients who need root canals or other endodontic treatment by having an on-staff endodontist. You’ll never need to search for another provider and spend time filling out new patient paperwork. Our endodontist will take care of you when you need a root canal in the same convenient location where you see your Cedar Walk dentist.
Our on-staff endodontist is Dr. Anna Kirakozova. She earned her dental degree in 2005 and her endodontics certificate three years later. She has since practiced in both Charlotte and Durham.
Today, she offers her expertise to her Cedar Walk patients. Here, she serves on our staff as our root canal specialist. Thanks to her extra training and certification in endodontics, she can offer first-class specialty care from our Charlotte-area office.
Root canals aim to save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection. When you need a root canal, Dr. Anna will provide the procedure to you at Cedar Walk. She will make sure to answer any questions that you have about the procedure before beginning so you feel at ease.
Most patients only need one visit for their root canals. During this visit, Dr. Anna will open your tooth a little with a drill to give her space to work inside the tooth. She cleans the internal canals to get rid of the painful, infected material. To protect the tooth and its structure, she adds a filling inside the tooth and sealant.
You will need a follow-up exam after your root canal. This visit lets Dr. Anna monitor you for any signs of complications. With modern techniques and tools, the success rate for root canals over time ranges from 82% to 92%.
Why not give yourself the chance to maintain your smile and avoid the embarrassment of losing a tooth? Opt for a root canal when your dentist recommends it to keep your natural teeth.
At Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we bring you a team of highly respected professionals in the dental field in our warm, inviting office. Thanks to our range of experts, you can get regular dental services or specialty care in the same place. Dr. Anna provides our patients with root canal therapy and other types of endodontic treatment. If you have tooth pain, need an endodontist, or want to have a single office to supply your dental needs, contact us at Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.