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20350 Water Tower Blvd.
Suite 10
Brookfield, WI 53045
Phone:
(262) 327-6100
Fax:
(262) 717-9642

1720 Lake Bluff Blvd.
Shorewood, WI 53211
Phone:
(262) 327-6100
Fax:
(262) 717-9642

 
Endodontic

Learn About Root Canals from Your Endodontist

An endodontist performing a root canal in Milwaukee, WI
What is an Endodontist and what do they do?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.  Like many medical terms, it's Greek.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

 

In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.

 

What Happens During Endodontic Treatment? or What is a Root Canal?

We will perform an examination and detailed review of your health history, your dental need and your goals. We utilize the most advanced technology, including computerized local anesthetic delivery (STA), 3-D CBCT technology and all endodontic procedures are performed under the microscope to optimize success. Your comfort is our primary priority. Our doctors will discuss your specific needs, as we believe that every patient and tooth should be treated with a customized approach. Be sure to discuss any specific needs with your doctor so we can customize your visit. Endodontic therapy is performed under local anesthetic, and sedation is available if requested.  A barrier sheet called the "rubber dam" will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment.  The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case.  Some treatments take 2 visits but many are just a single visit. 

 

In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty.  To us at Meridian, it is more important to do it the very best we can then to meet a specific time criteria.

A root canal (or endodontic therapy) has a very high degree of success, normally around 95%.  Only 5% can result in failure unless other prevailing factors exist such as cracks or caries. We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision.  If a root canal or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful, it will most likely be detected in the first 2 years after completion. In some instances, the root canal may need to be retreated, or surgically treated. 

Diagnoses and Treats Pain

Oral pain such as toothaches or cracked / fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint.  Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain.

Treats Traumatic Injuries

Pulp damage is sometimes caused by a blow to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, a blow to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A procedure called apexification stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. An endodontist is specially trained in procedures for replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.

Will I need to return to your office for Additional Visits?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 - 12 months.  This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly.  You will be sent a notice in the mail when we feel it is appropriate to reevaluate the area.  Since an abscess may take 2 years to heal, our office will reevaluate the tooth for at least 2 years.

Retreatment

Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.

Apicoectomy

Although there are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth, the most common is called apicoectomy or root-end resection. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure, your endodontist may have to perform an apicoectomy. 

 

 
 
20350 Water Tower Blvd.
Suite 10
Brookfield, WI 53045

Phone:
(262) 327-6100
Fax:
(262) 717-9642

1720 Lake Bluff Blvd.
Shorewood, WI 53211

Phone:
(262) 327-6100
Fax:
(262) 717-9642

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