An endodontist is someone who treats diseases that start inside the tooth and that includes pain and infection that could be coming from a tooth. They do root canal procedures. An endodontist spends two or more years after dental school learning how to do root canal treatments and prevent and treat diseases that start inside the tooth. An endodontist also uses specialized equipment like 3D dimensional x-rays called CBCT’s and surgical microscopes that allows them to see the intricate anatomy inside teeth. All these can increase the effectiveness of treatment or increase the success of treatment as well as minimize the number of treatments that necessary to do root canal treatment and they have ways to get you comfortable and less anxious about the treatment.
The American Association of Endodontists was concerned about what was happening during COVID with patients. They did a survey and found one in five patients were not brushing their teeth on a regular basis in the morning; one in three were eating more sugary snacks and at least half of the patients were not scheduling regular dental care. Dr. Alan Law, president of the American Association of Endodontists, says all this can lead to an increased risk of getting cavities and having the need for root canal treatment. It is important to both improve dental hygiene habits and cut back on sugary sweets but also get into your dentist.
Dr. Law say if you do have severe pain to hot and cold or lingering pain to hot and cold or pain to biting on your tooth or if you have swelling around a tooth or draining of infection; all these can indicate you might need a root canal treatment. You also may be told by your general dentist when they look at your x-rays that you have some infection in the bone around the tooth and that could be another reason for a root canal treatment. When you are told you need a root canal treatment it is appropriate to ask if you should see an endodontist, someone who specializes in doing root canal treatment.
Also, during COVID, some people had a fear of going to the dentist because they thought they might get COVID in a dental office. Dr. Law says we have taken several precautions, dentists always have, to prevent infections in the dental office and this has only been heightened by recommendations from the CDC, the American Dental Association and boards of dentistry so it is safe to go into a dental office and it is definitely safe to get root canal treatment and the CDC has no documented cases of COVID transmission during a dental procedure.
If you would like more information about the safety of root canal treatment or precautions that are being taken during COVID you can go to Aae.org by clicking here