What is an endodontist?

Endodontists are dental specialists who have completed a minimum of 10 years of collegiate education including two additional years of advanced endodontic training and education beyond 4-year dental school. These extra two or more years of specialty postgraduate training is done through a hospital or university-based program accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). Endodontic training emphasizes root canal treatments and the diagnosis of diseases and conditions that warrant them. An endodontist does not practice general dentistry but instead devotes the majority of his or her time to performing root canals – specifically those pertaining to narrowed canals or anatomically atypical cases.

An endodontist is a dentist who has specialized in treating and handling dental problems that involve the nerve tissue and blood vessels located inside the tooth. If the tooth pulp, containing nerves, vessels, lymphatic tissue, and fibrous tissue, becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.

Specializing in Saving Your Natural Teeth

With the lengthy education that an endodontist receives, they are able to perform all aspects of endodontic therapy, including:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of dental pain
  • Routine and complex root canals
  • Retreatments
  • Endodontic surgery
  • Treatment of traumatic dental injuries
  • Treatment of cracked teeth

Most endodontists have offices equipped with state-of-the-art technology, such as digital imaging, operating high-powered microscopes, ultrasonic instrumentation, and fiber optics while performing endodontic treatment. Technology, along with specialized techniques, gives endodontists an accurate view of the tooth and allows them to treat the tooth quickly and comfortably.
By choosing to receive treatment by an endodontist, you are choosing to keep your natural teeth as a healthy foundation for chewing and biting for years to come.

The highly skilled endodontists in our Athens Endodontics office continue to stay knowledgeable with the most recent research, techniques, and technology to provide top-notch care to all our patients. Our endodontists have impressive backgrounds, which are summarized in the Our Team section of our website. Please read more about Dr. Pugh, Dr. Didato, Dr. Dean, and Dr. Westra to help you feel even more at ease about the highly skilled treatment you will receive at our Athens Endodontist office.

Did You Know...

that endodontists perform an estimated 5.7 million procedures every year? Of those, the American Association of Endodontists reports that more than 4.2 million are root canal treatments. Despite the majority of those being widely successful, there are still several myths surrounding root canal treatment. For example, root canal treatments do not cause pain as rumored; they relieve it. Similarly, extracting a diseased tooth is not a better alternative to root canal treatment, as keeping as much of your natural tooth as possible should be the treatment goal of you and your dentist.

Endodontist Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Visit an Endodontist?

You may need to visit an endodontist if you have decay that has reached the pulp of your tooth. Once bacteria reach the pulp, it can be extremely painful and will cause the tooth to begin to die. By seeking endodontic help, you can get relief from your pain and still preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible.

What Should I Expect During an Endodontic Treatment?

Your visit to the endodontist should not be intimidating. Instead, you can expect a comfortable office and knowledgeable staff members who assist patients every day in relieving pain and treating diseased teeth. You can expect to be anesthetized for the duration of your treatment to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. The majority of endodontic treatments are highly successful. Though results vary from person to person, there is a good chance your root canal and restoration will last you a lifetime.

Will I Need to Follow any Special Instructions After the Procedure?

Following your root canal, you will need to follow a set of post-operative instructions designed to make your recovery easier and successful. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything for at least a half hour, and you may begin experiencing some slight discomfort near the site of the procedure in the first couple of days. Be sure to avoid biting or chewing hard and sticky foods, and schedule an appointment to return to your dentist for a permanent crown or filling within 30 days of your procedure.