Infections can develop not only in your gums but also in your teeth. An endodontist practices endodontics, commonly called root canal therapy, which is the treatment of an infection inside a tooth. The biggest problem with tooth infections is that once bacteria is present in the tooth and the nerve tissue has started to degenerate, there is no way for the body’s natural germ-fighting defenses to effectively reach and fight the infection. The space left by nerve tissue as it degenerates provides a cave-like area for bacteria to persist. Bacteria left untreated in your tooth can cause an abscess. An abscess is swollen area where pus has accumulated and can be very painful.
An endodontist can save your tooth. During a root canal the infected pulp of the tooth is removed. The inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is then filled with a rubber-like material that also seals the tooth. The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling. The tooth can then function the way it always did.
Millions of teeth have been saved through endodontic treatment. Despite popular opinion, root canals can be at least relatively comfortable during the process and during recovery. A modern endodontist allows the process to be more like getting a routine filling. Depending on the state of the tooth, most treatments can be completed in one or two visits to your endodontist.
Not only can an endodontist save your tooth to preserve your smile, it can allow you to continue eating the foods you love. It can also help you avoid additional dental intervention on other teeth by protecting them from unnecessary strain or wear. If an abscess has caused pain, endodontics will relieve the pain of the infection and swelling, and allow you to again chew normally. Most treated teeth will last as long as your other natural teeth.