Many of us love a good mystery novel or television show, but few people enjoy mysteries that revolve around our teeth. If you went to your general dentist to resolve a nagging dental issue, you may be wondering why he or she sent you to an endodontist for further examination and treatment.
Endodontists are dental specialists who focus on treating diseases of the dental pulp. They are experts in restoring infected or injured natural teeth to health. The procedures that they perform for patients also make them quite knowledgeable about reducing and eliminating dental pain.
If your dentist has referred you to an endodontist, here are some of the most common reasons he or she may have done so.
Top Reasons For Referral To An Endodontist
- Your dentist suspects that you need a root canal. If you have the symptoms of infected tooth pulp, your dentist will most likely want the endodontist to conduct an examination and potentially perform a root canal.
- Your dentist may want to have the endodontist examine a previous root canal. Root canal treatments, when followed by the addition of a dental crown on top, have success rates that exceed 90 percent. But root canals can fail, and when they do, an endodontist is the professional most experienced in performing a root canal retreatment.
- You may have a cracked tooth. Teeth cracks can let in bacterial infection that can damage the tooth’s pulp. In many cases, root canals performed by an endodontist are the only thing that can preserve a natural tooth that has suffered a crack.
- You may need an apicoectomy. If a previous root canal has failed, the damaged tooth may need an apicoectomy, which fills and seals the root tip of the tooth from the root end of the tooth (rather than from the crown end of the tooth, as in a typical root canal).
“Dentists and endodontists work together as a team to keep your natural teeth healthy and intact,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “If you have any questions about your referral, let our office know and we will provide a detailed explanation of your condition and your options for treatment.”