November 5, 2019

What is An Endodontist?

It’s no secret that we love dentistry and all that comes with helping patients improve and maintain their overall health by encouraging good oral hygiene practices.

However, we recognize that the dental world, and its various specialties, can be a maze for most of the population. That’s only natural since most people might go their entire lives only seeing the dentist twice a year for regular cleanings.

While that’s great for the patients who enjoy that level of care, for others there might be additional treatments that become necessary over time.

When something outside the normal preventative treatment occurs, your dentist might refer you to a specialist either in the same dental practice as your dentist or perhaps a different office. Depending on your particular treatment plan, you might be referred to either an endodontist or a periodontist.

Fear not those fancy words – we’re here to help you better understand what they do and how they’re different than a dentist.

What Is an Endodontist?

Endodontist is a fancy way of classifying dentists who have at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. Their training is focused primarily on procedures related to the interior treatment of the tooth such as root canals and diagnosing tooth pain. In many cases of tooth disease, the tooth can be saved with endodontic treatments.

While endodontists aren’t the only dentists that treat diseased teeth or perform root canals, because of their specialty they tend to be well versed in pain treatment and management.

In addition, they typically perform these types of dental treatments on a more regular basis – perhaps performing four times as many in a week as a general dentist might. Both of these are reasons that you might be referred by your general dentist to a specialist outside of the practice.

What Is a Root Canal?

Most folks who have had a root canal will tell you about the instant relief and joy experienced after a root canal. Why? Because their tooth no longer hurts! The infection is gone.

How do they do it? We hope to answer some of those questions by providing good information that helps explain the treatment process so that patients can better prepare themselves for their appointments. While endodontists treat many different issues related to tooth pain, root canals are the most common.

Inside your tooth, below the white enamel and a layer called dentin, lies soft tissue called dental pulp. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

When this pulp becomes inflamed or infected it can cause mild to severe tooth pain that requires treatment. In a root canal, the infected pulp is removed, and the area is cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled with a rubber-like material and the tooth is restored with a crown or filling. This entire procedure can help save your natural teeth and allow you to continue chewing and smiling just as you did before.

Why See An Endodontist?

Most often patients are referred to an endodontist by their general dentist because they are experience non-specific tooth pain that the dentist has been unable to identify and treat. Patients might also be referred for a root canal before their dentist places a crown.

Endodontists have specialized equipment and extensive training in dental anatomy. So much so that no canal can hide from a seasoned endodontist, which is important because the tooth will likely need retreatment if all root system is not property cleaned and treated.

The goal of modern dentistry is to save the natural teeth whenever possible, and endodontists can be extremely helpful in this area with their expertise in both diagnosing tooth pain and treating issues related to the internal area of the tooth. Preserving natural teeth is imperative to preserving bone.

Our office is committed to offering many options when it comes to your dental plan. We have worked with and trust not only the providers in our office but those specialists that we entrust with our patient’s care. In our valley, we are extremely fortunate to work with talented specialists who are committed to serving our community and providing access to specialty care.

So if you ever hear the dentist talk about a root canal, you can feel confident that you are addressing the problem and saving a tooth, and seeing a provider either in our office or a referring office who can join your dental team and work with you to maintain and improve your oral health.

Taking your child for their first dentist appointment can be both an exciting and nerve racking time. That’s why, here at Inland Family Dentistry, we do everything we can to make sure your child has a comfortable, enjoyable experience when they visit our office. Of course, as a parent, we want you to be comfortable and educated about your child’s oral health too!

To help with that, in this article, we’re going to be sharing some fun and interesting facts about pediatric dentistry that are sure to make you smile and help your child build a positive relationship with their dentist.

1. Choosing a “Dental Home” for Your Child

As silly as that may sound, choosing and sticking with the same dentist for the duration of your child’s oral care is one of the best ways to ensure they have a positive impression of the dentist. Not only will this make it easier when it’s time for a checkup, but having a consistent “Dental Home” will also help your child build a strong oral hygiene routine.

Another added benefit of choosing a “Dental Home” for your child is getting to build a relationship with the dentist. Seeing a familiar face every time they come for a checkup can make a world of difference, especially for children that make experience anxiety.

2. It’s Never Too Early For Their 1st Visit

Did you know that your baby’s first set of teeth are also known as milk teeth? These 20 temporary teeth are already fully formed at birth and rest just under the gum line until they begin emerging as early as 6 months of age! However, just because your baby won’t have any teeth for the first few months doesn’t mean you have to wait to go to the dentist.

Here at Inland Family Dentistry, we encourage parents to come in for an initial visit as early as they like. Our friendly, professional hygienists and dentists will be happy to share the various techniques you can use to ensure your baby has a clean, healthy mouth even before their first teeth start to come in.Once their teeth have started to come in we offer our Teddy Bear Checkups to help your child get comfortable at the dentist.

3. Prehistoric Children Rarely Had Cavities

That’s right, prehistoric civilizations had drastically lower rates of cavities despite not even having access to something as simple as a toothbrush and toothpaste! Historians discovered that cavities didn’t start becoming a major problem until humans learned to farm roughly 10,000 years ago, introducing grains into the diet and all of the bacteria producing mayhem that comes along with it. Ancient farmers have been found with nearly 50% of their teeth decayed!

In today’s modern world, it’s more important than ever that you pay close attention to your child’s oral routine to ensure cavities never become a problem. Even though it can feel like a losing battle between the soda, junk food, and ever enticing candy options, having a good dentist will keep your child’s dental health on track.

4. Chewing Gum Can Protect Your Teeth

Did you know that kids in the United States (well, their parents) collectively spend just over half a billion dollars on chewing gum each year? When broken down, that translates to 444 pieces of gum being sold every second! Even though gum often gets a bad reputation for being nothing more than a stick of chewy sugar, that’s not always the case. In fact, studies have found that some chewing gum can actually be good for your child’s teeth.

Before we start talking about how gum can help protect your teeth, it’s important to mention that we’re strictly talking about sugar-free gum. Of the varieties you can choose from, studies have found that gum sweetened with xylitol actually prevent the growth of cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. Simply check the nutrition labels the next time you’re at the store.

5. Each Person Has Unique Teeth

Just like fingerprints, no two people can have an identical set of teeth. Don’t believe us? Do a quick Google search on teeth to see just how many different shapes and sizes they can come in. Of course, that’s only part of what makes your teeth special. The other half of the puzzle is the grooves and unique bite pattern that detectives are able to use to ID criminals during an investigation. Pretty cool, huh?

We’re Here For Your Child’s Dental Needs
Trying to find the perfect pediatric dentist for your baby or child? Give us a call today to book an initial appointment and experience the Inland Family Dentistry difference for yourself!