Most people know endodontists perform root canals, because that’s the most common type of dental surgery. However, endodontists didn’t undertake years of additional training and schooling to perform only root canals (although it’s a very important part of their practice).
Root canals today are a fast, pain-free procedure, but they still have a high failure rate. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that up to 15 percent of root canals in America fail, and the majority of those occur in general dental offices. An endodontist has the skills, tools (like YAG lasers) and experience necessary to provide the best odds of a successful root canal.
What Else Can Endodontists Do?
As dental surgeons, they pick up where general dentists leave off. If it’s related to dental surgery, no matter how invasive, there’s a good chance endodontists are at the ready. Here are some of the most common endodontic procedures beyond root canals, and what they entail:
1. Dental implants:
Like root canals, this semi-invasive procedure may be offered at a family dental practice or at an endodontic office. As a patient, it’s in your best interest to always rely on an endodontist for this procedure. Why wouldn’t you depend on a surgical professional when possible? Dental implants are the best, most secure, comfortable and natural-looking tooth replacement option — but they take time. First, a small metal post is permanently implanted where the missing tooth was, which is then allowed to fuse to the jawbone. For up to 12 weeks, the tissue around the post heals, further securing the post in place. Next, an abutment is placed on top of the post so the tooth replacement (often a crown) can be secured. It’s a lengthy procedure overall, but the majority of this time is spent on tissue healing, of which the patient is largely unaware. However, dental implants require precision that’s best left to an endodontist.
2. Endodontic retreatment:
Sometimes, endodontic treatments like root canals simply fail. Failure can happen months or years later, leading to brand-new problems. Patients who notice that a previously treated tooth is acting up should get recommendations from an endodontist. Common causes of failure include root canal procedures that were complex, narrow or curved (and harbored infected pulp); restorative dentistry that was delayed after an initial endodontic treatment; or a restoration that didn’t fully keep contamination outside of the canal area.
3. Traumatic injuries:
Accidents happen. Teeth can nurture infections and decay thanks to loose, broken, cracked or fractured teeth or crowns. Fortunately, many tooth restoration options are available. Restorations in the hand of an endodontist stand the best chance of success.
Your general dentist and endodontist should make up the perfect team. Contact Rocky Mountain Endodontics today for a free consultation and to find out what the area’s leading endodontists can do for you and your teeth.