What is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dentists who have undergone a minimum of three years advanced training and are registered as a specialist. Endodontists are experts in diagnosing and treating diseases of the dental pulp (the internal structure of a tooth). The dental pulp can become inflamed or infected due to deep decay, deep restorations, a tooth crack, or dental trauma. In such cases it is possible to treat and save the tooth with endodontic treatment (also known as root canal treatment).
Root Canal Treatment
The endodontist removes the infected dental pulp, and then carefully cleans, disinfects, and shapes the pulp space (root canals). The root canals are then filled and sealed with a biocompatible material to prevent reinfection. Following root canal treatment your general dentist will place a permanent restoration (often a crown) to protect and restore the tooth to normal function.
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Occasionally a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment due to a persistent or recurrent infection. Retreatment can offer a second chance to save a diseased root filled tooth that would otherwise be extracted. The previous root filling is removed and the root canals are disinfected and re-sealed.
Endodontic retreatment is a more specialised procedure requiring high magnification and advanced techniques to achieve the best outcome. Endodontists have additional training and considerable experience in performing retreatment.
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Often called an apicectomy, this procedure involves removal of diseased tissue around the tip of the tooth root (i.e. apex) using microsurgical techniques. The tip of the root is also removed and a small filling placed at the root-end to seal the root canal. This form of treatment may be necessary when infection persists following root canal treatment, or if it is not possible to seal the root tip with a conventional root filling. Microsurgery can often save a tooth that would otherwise be destined for extraction.
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With modern techniques and anaesthetics root canal treatment today is usually a comfortable procedure. At Sydney Endodontic Centre we offer intravenous sedation for our patients who experience dental anxiety, a severe gag reflex, and for surgical procedures. Short-acting medication is administered intravenously to induce a dream-like state where you are unaware of any noise or discomfort during treatment. You will still remain conscious and breathe on your own, but will usually have no memory of the procedure. This service is provided in our rooms by a licensed sedation practitioner.
If you would like more information about intravenous sedation please call our office and we will arrange a consultation to evaluate your specific needs.
At Sydney Endodontic Centre we use state-of-the-art equipment and technology to accomplish our diagnosis and treatment goals. Click here for more information about high technology applications at our practice.