What to Expect During an Endodontics Appointment
Endodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the study and treatment of the dental pulp. A dental professional who specializes in endodontics is called an Endodontist. Although Endodontists perform a wide variety of procedures, the most common dental procedure performed by an Endodontist is Root Canal Therapy. Endodontists use advanced technology such as ultrasonics, operating microscopes, and digital imaging during procedures.
Who Should See An Endodontist?
The patients who see an Endodontist are usually referred by their General Dentist, first. The following are instances where a General Dentist would refer a patient to see an Endodontist:
- Patients who need complex root canal treatment procedures
- Patients who have an abscessed tooth that requires surgical procedures
- Patients who have combined periodontal and endodontic problems
What to Expect During An Endodontics Appointment
1. Getting Your Detailed Health History
Detailing your health history is the first activity that would take place during an Endodontics appointment. The Endodontist would require a medical report and a referral letter from a General Dentist. This would enable the Endodontist to gain an insight into the nature and scope of the symptoms of the tooth. Also, the Endodontist would also ask the patient to provide information about the symptoms they've been experiencing.
2. Examination of the face
Most Dental Professionals will carry out an examination of the face before examining the tooth. During an Endodontics appointment, an Endodontist would examine the face to ascertain the scope of the symptom. The Endodontist would examine the face for swelling or lymph nodes enlargement and asymmetry.
3. Examination of the tooth
After the initial examination of the face, an Endodontist will examine the tooth involved. During the examination of the tooth, the Endodontist may carry out a palpation test. During this test, finger pressure is applied to the gums on either side of the area of the complaint. The palpation test is immediately followed by a percussion test. After the percussion test, the Endodontist would proceed in giving a mobility test. The mobility test would help the Endodontist determine the severity of the condition. The Endodontist may also carry out a vitality testing of the pulp of the affected tooth.
4. Treatment of the tooth
Several treatment procedures may be performed by an Endodontist including a Root Canal Treatment, Endodontic Retreatment, Endodontic Surgery, and Dental Implants. The most common procedure performed by Endodontists is arguably a Root Canal Treatment. During a Root Canal Treatment, the patient would receive a local anesthetic to numb any painful sensations that may be felt during the procedure.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, a rubber dam would be inserted into the mouth to isolate the teeth. The rubber dam forms a protective barrier which prevents the saliva and bacteria in the mouth from getting into the tooth. Moreover, the rubber dam ensures nothing goes down your throat during the procedure. Most root canal treatment procedures are completed in one appointment. However, in rare cases, a second appointment may be required.
5. Post Treatment Follow-Up
After the treatment, the Endodontist will send a report of the patient's treatment to their General Dentist so that they can have all the needed information to continue to care for the patient.
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