Endodontics is the diagnosis and management of inflamed, damaged or dead pulps (the soft tissue inside of the tooth & roots).
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots and contains the blood vessels and nerves that allow us to feel cold and hot sensations from our food and drinks. Although the pulp is necessary for tooth growth and development, once the tooth is fully mature it can survive without it because the tooth is still nourished by the surrounding tissues. A tooth without a pulp should be considered a “nerveless” tooth rather than a dead tooth.
Often referred to as “root canal therapy”, an endodontic procedure targets the pulp tissue inside the tooth and surrounding tissue near the tip of the root.
Bacteria associated with deep or large fillings, decay, cracks or fractures and trauma may irreversibly damage the pulp resulting in inflammation or infection. If this is left un-treated it will lead to pain and abscess formation.
Signs of a damaged pulp include hot and/or cold sensitivity, tenderness to touching or biting the tooth, discolouration of the tooth or swelling and tenderness in the adjacent gums. Sometimes there are no symptoms and your dentist may find incidental x-ray changes on your regular check-up.
Following endodontic therapy, the tooth and surrounding tissues will return to health and continue to function normally.
Who is an Endodontist?
An Endodontist is a dentist who specialises in saving teeth.
Endodontists become specialists following a three year postgraduate course (Masters or DCD degree) of advanced training that includes the diagnosis and treatment of pulpal disease. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex cases including retreatment, microsurgery and trauma managment.
Not only do endodontists have a greater knowledge base, they also utilise state of the art technology such as digital imaging and operating microscopes. Combined, endodontists can treat your teeth to the highest technical standard, quickly, predictably and comfortably.
At Malvern & Berwick Endodontics, we have five endodontists (between the two clinics) as well as several support staff to assist with our endodontic procedures. They are experts at diagnosing and relieving orofacial pain, managing traumatic tooth injuries and retreating previous unsuccessful root canal fillings.
An example of a novel procedure that you will soon be hearing about is regenerative endodontics. We are hoping that in a few years we will be growing your pulp back inside your tooth!