What Type of Dentist Performs Root Canal Therapy? General Dental Care
Root canal refers to the innermost part of your tooth housing the pulp chamber and sensory nerves. Root canal therapy is a procedure in which the infected pulp tissue and the dead nerve are removed from the tooth through an access hole. Root canal therapy is an incredibly important procedure that saves around 17 million teeth every year. You must be wondering if root canal therapy qualifies as general dental care and what type of dentist performs root canal therapy. In this article, we discuss how a dentist performs root canal therapy and other information you need about root canals.
Do most dentists know how to do root canals?
Root canal therapy can be done by a general dentist or an endodontist. Both dentists and endodontists know how to perform root canals — however, endodontists are specialists in root canals. When you consult your general dental care clinic, they’ll examine your teeth and determine if the general dentist can give you a root canal or if you need an endodontist. Generally speaking, endodontists are brought in for complicated root canal procedures.
The following are some of the ways in which endodontists differ from general dentists:
- In order to become an endodontist, the dentist must go through two to three years of additional education after dental school. During this additional education, they have to focus on studying dental pulp diseases specifically.
- Endodontists focus on treatments of the pulp chamber specifically. As a result, they perform an average of 25 root canals per week, while dentists only do about two per week. As such, endodontists are far more experienced and skilled than general dentists, which is why they’ve brought in for some of the most complicated root canal requirements.
- Endodontists also specialize in providing numbing medications and pain relief. They ensure that the entire treatment is painless and that you don’t experience much pain or discomfort either during or after the treatment.
- Finally, endodontists are also trained in the use of modern cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment technologies that make your treatment more effective and comfortable. For example, endodontists use dental microscopes to inspect the insides of the root canal.
Why do you need a root canal at a general dental clinic?
To understand the necessity of root canals, you need to first understand the anatomy of the tooth. Your tooth consists of several layers — the outermost hard shell called enamel, followed by the dentin layer, followed by the innermost soft tissue called the dental pulp. The dental pulp lies within the root canal, and it’s made of blood vessels, lymph tissues, and a sensory nerve. The nerve doesn’t have any real functional value, however, because it only provides hot and cold sensations.
Root canals are necessary when the innermost layer — the pulp chamber — gets infected. This may happen because of several reasons, including bacterial decay. In most cases, you can identify the bacterial decay before it reaches the pulp chamber. But, if you leave it untreated, it spreads to the pulp chamber, infecting the pulp, nerves, and the tooth’s root. At this point, it’s crucial to stop the infection from spreading — or else, it will eventually spread to the tooth’s root, leading to a dental abscess, and eventually kill the entire tooth and further infect your dental bone structure. As such, root canal therapy is often the last-resort means of protecting your tooth from complete decay.
What happens during root canal procedures?
The following is an overview of what happens during root canals procedures:
- The dentist will prescribe some antibiotics a few days before the root canal.
- The dentist or endodontist will numb the region around the tooth, so you don’t feel anything, and then isolate the infected tooth with a dental dam. The dental dam will isolate the affected tooth and also prevent saliva from interfering with the procedure.
- The dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth to access the pulp chamber.
- They’ll use nickel-titanium files to clean the walls of the root canal and remove all of the accumulated debris.
- Once the root canal has been cleaned out, and all the debris is removed, the dentist will seal and disinfect the tooth. They’ll seal the tooth using a material called gutta-percha or composite resin.
- They’ll place a filling to close the access hole.
- Finally, the dentist will recommend a dental crown to protect the weakened tooth from damage.
Why is a root canal considered oral surgery?
Root canals are often considered to be a form of oral surgery because they necessitate the removal of pulp from your tooth. However, root canal therapy doesn’t qualify as oral surgery. A procedure only qualifies as dental surgery if an incision is made on the gums to give access to the underlying soft and hard tissues. However, during the root canal procedure, an access hole is only drilled on the tooth and not the surrounding tissues.
Why is a tooth extracted after a root canal?
Tooth extraction is only performed if the root canal procedure fails, and the infection continues spreading. If the root canal fails, you must opt for tooth extraction because that’s the only way to remove the infected tooth and protect the surrounding teeth, jawbone, and gum tissues.
Why are dental crowns recommended after a root canal?
Root canal therapy leaves the tooth in an extremely weak state since it’s hollowed out, and all of the pulp tissues are removed. As such, a dental crown is necessary to protect the weakened tooth from infections, contamination, and other forms of damage.
How safe is the root canal?
Root canals are a completely safe and necessary procedure because they get rid of all the bacteria, improving your oral health and preventing the spread of infection.
Schedule your Basic Dental Care Appointment
URBN Dental is one of the best dental clinics in Houston, Texas. We have some of the country’s finest dentists who examine your teeth to determine if you need root canal therapy and whether it should be performed by an endodontist or general dental care specialist. For more information, please schedule your basic dental care appointment today.
Root canal refers to the innermost part of your tooth housing the pulp chamber and sensory nerves. Root canal therapy is a procedure in which the infected pulp tissue and the dead nerve are removed from the tooth through an access hole. Root canal therapy can be done by a general dentist or an endodontist. You must be wondering if root canal therapy qualifies as general dental are and what type of dentist performs root canal therapy.
Both dentists and endodontists know how to perform root canals — however, endodontists are specialists in root canals. Endodontists focus on treatments of the pulp chamber specifically. As a result, they perform an average of 25 root canals per week, while dentists only do about two per week. As such, endodontists are far more experienced and skilled than general dentists. URBN Dental is one of the best dental clinics in Houston, Texas. For more information, please schedule your basic dental care appointment today.