Get To Know Your Endodontist

Get To Know Your Endodontist

Get To Know Your Endodontist

Let’s face it. No one likes going to the dentist, so a referral to an endodontist may feel like yet another opportunity for a less-than-pleasant experience in your oral health journey.

More Than a Fancy Word for “Dentist”

Let’s start with what sets an endodontist apart from your general dentist. We begin life as dentists, but then we complete two-year programs of specialized education and training in conditions that cause tooth pain. Some of the most common types of pain that we treat are:

  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Trauma
  • Inflammation
  • Pain caused by infection and damage inside the tooth

We Excel When Things Go Awry

You brush, floss, have annual cleanings and do everything that is recommended to take care of your teeth and gums, yet one day it happens. You feel a pain in your teeth, and you imagine the worst. You spend hours trying to ignore the pain or find some easy home remedy, but eventually you know that you need to speak with your dentist. Don’t give up hope, yet, though, because an endodontist excels when things go awry. Our purpose in the field of oral health is to find the root cause of your pain and treat it with the most conservative solution possible.

We are Super Heroes that Save Teeth

Yep. That’s right. Our goal is to save your teeth, and we feel passionate about our mission. The field of endodontics is constantly evolving, and our patients benefit from advanced techniques and technologies. Compared to years in the past, we can now save more teeth while decreasing patient discomfort and risk of complications.

We Specialize in Root Canals

Root canals are one of the most anxiety-ridden dental procedures for any patient, but sometimes they are necessary to save your teeth. The good news is that we specialize in root canals.

Root Canals are Not the Most Painful Dental Procedures

Pain is what brought you to our practice, so you might be worried that you will experience a new and unique type of pain after a root canal. This is one of the most common misperceptions about root canals. Sure, when the first dental instrument for root canals was introduced in 1838 by Edwin Maynard, it got the job done, but patient comfort was not a top priority. Let us also remember that in 1725, endodontic procedures were performed with oil and cloves. In other words, the technology and tools that we use today far exceed what was available as the field of endodontics was evolving as a complementary therapy to general dentistry. Today’s patient enjoys superior results, fewer complications and excellent comfort during and after the procedure. In fact, most patients need only non-narcotic medications for the first few days after a root canal.

We Do More Than Root Canals

Endodontists do more than root canals. We perform procedures and treatments that repair damage inside the tooth that may be caused by:

  • Trauma fractures
  • Calcium deposits
  • Infection
  • Bone loss
  • Abnormalities in the root and bone

Learn More About Endodontics

If you have been referred to an endodontist, we are here to help. Our endodontists specialize in root canals and other procedures that save teeth, and we strive to make every patient experience positive and beneficial. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

11 Enlightening Facts & FAQs About Endodontics

11 Enlightening Facts & FAQs About Endodontics

Let’s look at some facts about endodontics and root canals:

  • Endodontists perform more than 40,000 root canals every day (that’s 40,000 teeth that we save every day)
  • More than 50% of people who need root canals prefer to entrust their teeth to an endodontic specialist
  • Most dental patients have the same fear – losing their teeth, and we are in the business of saving teeth
  • Endodontists are respected amongst the oral health community as the “go to” for root canals
  • We do more than 10 times more root canals than general dentists, so we are really good at them

Want to know more? Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about Endodontics.

What are Endodontists?

An endodontist is a dental practitioner specializing in teeth maintenance through endodontic therapy. The procedure involves the treatment of the pulp, which is the softer inner tissue of the teeth. While all dentists are trained in endodontic treatment and diagnosis, some teeth and gum diseases can be challenging to diagnose and treat. That’s probably the reason a general dental practitioner referred you to a specialist in endodontics.

Upon graduating from dental school, an endodontist has to enroll for an advanced course in endodontics. Aspiring endodontists will study root canal procedures and techniques in depth to aid in treating and diagnosing complicated cases. That’s why general dental practitioners often refer to patients with complicated dental issues to a specialist in endodontic therapy.

What is a Root Canal?

A specialist in endodontics will first put a patient under anesthesia and then place a sheet of latex around the tooth to isolate it and keep it dry and clean during the treatment. The endodontic treatment takes four steps, but the number of appointments depends on the situation. Most cases require a single visit while some can take two or three sessions. In any case, visits depend on the degree of treatment difficulty and degree of inflammation or infection. The success rate of endodontic therapy or root canal can be as high as 90%. However, patients may first have to discuss their success rate with their endodontists before undergoing the procedure. You still have options in case endodontic therapy or root canal fails.

What’s Involved With The Procedure?

Endodontic therapy takes three steps and can take a maximum of three sessions to complete.

1. The Root Canal Treatment. Firstly, the endodontist removes any residue that is inside the root canal. However, the patient must be under anesthesia before the dental specialist makes an access hole on the root surface and uses small files to remove the dead and diseased pulp tissue.

2. Filling the Root Canal. Next, the dental practitioner uses irrigation solutions and tiny files to shape, clean, and decontaminate the hollow area. Then the endodontic specialist will use a rubber-like material to fill the tooth and an adhesive cement to seal the root canal. Your tooth will probably be dead after root canal therapy. The procedure eliminates any infection and removes the nerve tissue to get rid of any pain on a cracked or fractured tooth.

3. Filling or Adding a Crown to the Tooth. The root canal procedure will leave a diseased or damaged tooth more fragile than it was. The ligament that attaches the bone to the teeth is responsible for nourishing any tooth with no pulp. While that nourishment is adequate, the tooth will over time be more brittle, but filling or crowning it can protect it. Crowning or filling a tooth takes only one appointment, but one or two additional visits may be necessary for a tooth with infections, multi-canals, or curved canals.

How Is It Treated?

Pinpointing fractured or cracked teeth or oral pains such as toothache has always been difficult. The pain of a diseased or fractured tooth is likely to be felt in the head or another tooth due to the vastness of the nerves network in the mouth. Fortunately, endodontic therapists are specialists in diagnosing and treating any teeth-related pain.

What About Traumatic Injuries?

A blow to the mouth can sometimes cause pulp damages, but endodontic therapists specialize in treating any of these injuries. A blow to the permanent tooth of a child, for example, can stop the growth of the root. However, endodontic therapists are trained in apexification, a procedure that stimulates depositing of bones at the of the base of the tooth to not only promote teeth growth but also save a fractured or cracked tooth through endodontic therapy or root canal procedure. These specialists are highly trained and experienced in replanting any tooth that came out of its socket due to a blow to the mouth.

Experts recommend regular visits to an endodontic practice for a checkup once the root canal procedure is complete. It can take 6 to 12 months for the root canal procedure to complete. That period allows the endodontic to monitor your progress to make sure that the fractured or cracked tooth heals appropriately and as quickly as possible. An abscess can take up to two years to heal, and that’s why an endodontist may schedule a two-year appointment for the reevaluation of the damaged or diseased tooth.

How Painful are the Endodontics Procedures?

One of the fears about the root canal procedure is that it is painful. However, any procedure done by a trained and experienced endodontist should be relatively painless. Instead, the pain should be as a result of infection and not treatment. The root canal procedure doesn’t cause any pain but instead helps alleviate it.

Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction: Which One is Best?

Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction: Which One is Best?

Although a root canal and tooth extraction may seem like daunting procedures, you may be one of the thousands of adults needing these dental services this year. Our team at Dental Specialty Associates performs these procedures every day in order to fix teeth that are causing pain and discomfort. To educate you about the procedures and help you determine which is right for you, here are some common questions we get from our patients in both Gilbert and Phoenix.

What Happens During Root Canal Vs Extraction?

During root canals, our team works to remove the damaged and decaying parts of your tooth while keeping the healthy sections of your tooth intact. Your pain is caused by damage and decay going down to the root of your tooth where your nerves are located. Once this is removed and disinfected, it’s sealed and a crown is fitted over the remainder of your healthy tooth to protect it from further disease and damage?

On their own, tooth extractions aren’t quite as extensive as root canals as we simply remove your entire tooth. However, we strongly recommend a dental implant or bridge to feel the gap from your missing tooth as this can help prevent future problems.

What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks To A Root Canal?

The ability to keep your natural tooth is the primary benefit to root canals. While the unhealthy portion of your tooth is removed and covered with a crown, hanging on to the healthy portion of your natural tooth helps protect your overall oral health and your smile alignment. Root canals also require less time as all items can be accomplished in one day due to our ability to create crowns in our office during your procedure.

One of the major drawbacks to root canals is that they are not right for everyone. Your tooth may be too damaged, decayed or unhealthy to be able to save it. Root canals are also pricey when compared to extraction costs. Root canals can easily cost more than $1,000 while pulling a tooth is often under $500. However, you should be aware that this is just the extraction cost. If you need a dental implant or false tooth to fill the gap from your extraction, it can end up costing more than a root canal depending on what you choose to replace it.

What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks To A Tooth Extraction?

The amount of time you spend at the dentist office getting your tooth extracted is significantly less than the alternative procedure. However, this is just for the extraction procedure as getting a dental implant to replace your missing tooth requires additional appointments. If you don’t have dental insurance or the funds to pay for a root canal, extraction of a tooth is a much more affordable option. For a few hundred dollars you can be free of the tooth and the pain it’s causing you in your mouth.

The drawback to having an extraction done on your tooth is that it creates a gap in your mouth. This can make it more of a challenge to talk or chew depending on where the gap is located in your mouth. It can also cause the other teeth in your mouth to shift thus taking your smile out of alignment. This is why it is highly recommended that you fill the gap with an implant if you choose teeth extraction over root canals.

Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction: Which Option Is Better?

While you probably want us to provide you with a direct answer to this question, the truth is that the right option can vary from one patient to another. While root canal procedures might be the right option for some patients, the oral health and needs of other patients make them more suitable for tooth extraction. The best thing you can do to determine which one is right for you is to schedule a consultation appointment with our team at Dental Specialty Associates.

With offices in both Gilbert and Phoenix, we are located nearby to accommodate your dental needs, especially when emergency root canals or extractions are needed. We’re happy to meet with you to discuss both types of procedures and help you determine based on your pain and overall oral health which option is best for you. Give us a call at Dental Specialty Associates today! You’ll be all smiles after we eliminate the cause of your pain and restore your oral health.

The Reasons Root Cause Was Removed From Netflix

The Reasons Root Cause Was Removed From Netflix

The chances are good you have either viewed or heard about a Netflix documentary titled Root Cause. The film placed dentists under unnecessary stress due to the numerous inaccuracies in the documentary. Unfounded and inaccurate links were made between root canals, heart disease and breast cancer. It is important to understand these supposed facts came from research conducted during the 1920’s. The documentary actually questioned the appropriateness and safety of the root canal procedure. If you were appalled by the statements made during this film, you were not alone. The documentary has been quietly removed for the 58 million Netflix subscribers. Unfortunately, the documentary has not yet been removed by the other carriers.

The Fight Against the Inaccuracies

The (AADR) American Association of Dental Research, the (AAE) American Association of Endodontists and the (ADA) American Dental Association denounced the documentary. All of these associations have been highly respected for many years. You may have already heard about the warnings given to Amazon, Vimeo, Apple and Netflix that dangerous misinformation was being spread due to this film. Root Cause made claims stating 98 percent of all women who experienced breast cancer had a root canal performed on the same side of the body the cancerous tumors were located. I am ashamed to admit I researched this information because I had initial doubts as to the validity of this claim. I conducted extensive research and there is absolutely no research to back this claim.

The scientific and medical communities have stated the root canal procedure is both effective and safe for saving the natural tooth of the individual and eliminating severe pain. According to the AAE, the documentary based their “facts” on experts and physicians considered extremists by the vast majority of the medical community. Many of these individuals have already had their licenses revoked or have extremely questionable reputations. The reason you have most likely heard questions as to the safety and effectiveness of the root canal procedure is because this treatment has been consistently debunked for almost 100 years. It is important to note every negative accusation made regarding the root canal treatment has been proven to be false.

The Impact of the Documentary Regarding Anti-Vaccination Documentaries

Several days before Netflix made the decision to remove the documentary from their service, Amazon began removing several documentaries regarding anti-vaccination. You must understand the claims made in these films that vaccinations are harmful have already been debunked by a staggering amount of conclusive scientific research. I do not believe films or books should be censored due to controversial claims or ideas. Using conclusive new research is a valuable asset for improving the quality of both medical and dental care. This being said, there was no viable reason to combine interviews using experts with no expertise or authority and ludicrous stories as an excuse to make this documentary. The fact the major media made the documentary available in the first place is appalling due to the proven inaccuracies.

Inaccurate Information Endangers the Public

This type of film is dangerous to the health of the public. You may become afraid to seek care for pain or illness due to this kind of documentary. This action can place your life in danger. It is true having a tooth pulled as opposed to having a root canal will not end your life. This being said, declining the root canal will result in numerous issues. You will experience bone loss in you jaw and your face. This often creates a sunken look resulting in a much older appearance. Unfortunately the dental sector has been targeted with incorrect information during the past. You may remember all the inaccurate claims made by groups against fluoridation. They stated there were links between fluoridated water and conditions including ADHD, thyroid issues and cancer. Science has already proved fluoride is effective and safe.

The Importance of Understanding the Research

The key issue with exposing you to alarming medical claims is you may not be able to determine which research is accurate and which is invalid, outdated or simply a scam. You can access more information using the internet than you will ever be able to use. The problem is a lot of the current sources are extremely dubious and the theories completely inaccurate. If you typed in an inquiry regarding any possibility of root canals causing cancer, there will always be results confirming this link. This is because the claims of Root Cause are from studies conducted during the 1920’s. At this point in time, science and technology were not nearly as advanced or able to determine the truth or falseness of this potential link. It is extremely important you understand any link between root canals and disease is unfounded and has been proven incorrect. The best possible way to fight these inaccuracies is to educate the public.

Root Canal Walkthrough

Root Canal Walkthrough

OK, so you need a root canal. No need to be fearful! In contrast to what Hollywood says (scaring everyone about how treacherous a root canal is) we are here to tell you what you can actually expect, and walk you through the steps and stages of root canal therapy. (more…)

Dental Specialty Associates Dentist Gilbert Phoenix Arizona
Our highly trained teams specialize in all areas of dental care treatments, from general dentistry to cosmetic and surgical procedures.
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Dental Specialty Associates of Gilbert

2730 S Val Vista Dr
BLDG 11, # 164
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 633-9977

Dental Specialty Associates of Phoenix

4216 N 44th St
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 795-5995

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