scott turner endodontist

what is an endodontist and what do they do?


Endodontists specialise in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. Endodontic treatment is usually required when deep caries (decay) or injury has caused the pulp of the tooth to become inflammed or infected.

An Endodontist has trained as a dentist and later received two or more years of full time advanced specialist education in the field of endodontics. This further education enables them to greatly increase their knowledge and clinical expertise in endodontics.

what happens during endodontic treatment?

A local anesthetic will be given.  A sheet of latex called a "rubber dam" will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, and keep the tooth clean and dry during treatment.  The number of visits will depend on your particular case.  Most treatments take 2 visits but occasionally 3 or more appointments are needed, dependent on the degree of infection/inflammation and treatment difficulty.

While no medical or dental procedure has a 100% success rate, endodontic treatment has a very high degree of success, up to 90%.  We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. Note that if endodontic treatment is not successful, there are other treatment options still available to you.

will I need to return to your office for additional visits?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined in about 6 months.  This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly.  You will be contacted when we feel it is appropriate to reevaluate the area. This is usually a 15 minute appointment, with no charge.

healthy tooth

what is endodontic retreatment? 

Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal, or pain continues despite therapy. Additionally a root filled tooth may become painful or infected years later. Often in this situation endodontic retreatment may be appropriate as an alternative to tooth extraction. This involves retreating the root canals in the tooth to resolve infection. Frequently a tooth can be saved utilising advanced techniques and materials that were not available when your tooth was endodontically treated initially.

what is endodontic surgery?

Despite the very highest quality endodontic treatment a tooth may fail to heal following endodontic retreatment.

When this situation occurs the tooth can often still be saved by endodontic surgery. Surgical access is established to the infected root tip and this is removed along with any inflammed and infected tissue from around the tooth. A surgical seal is then placed in the root end to optimise healing.