What Is An Endodontist? | Why You Need An Endodontist in Little Rock

October 27, 2023

All endodontists are dentists, but less than three percent of dentists have the training and licensure to be an endodontist. Just like ENTs and Podiatrists are doctors who have undergone extra schooling to specialize in their field, endodontists are dentists who have specialized in the interior of the tooth. Endodontists must complete an additional two or more years of training after dental school. Their specialty and training focuses on root canal treatments, diagnosing tooth pain, and everything related to the interior of the tooth – i.e. nerves, pulp, and soft tissue, including the gums.

Often, when your tooth is damaged or diseased, it can be saved with endodontic treatment. If it’s done in time, they can even help re-embed a knocked-out tooth!

Endodontists Have Specialized Expertise

By focusing on endodontics (usually, endodontists don’t perform normal dental procedures like cleanings and fillings – although there are exceptions), endodontists are able to exclusively treat the dental pulp. On average, an endodontist completes 25 root canals a week. For perspective, a dentist may perform, on average, about two.

Endodontists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating tooth pain. When you have oral, facial, or ear pain that is difficult to diagnose you will likely be sent to an endodontist.

Endodontists Specialize in Certain Procedures

While the procedure an endodontist does most often is a root canal, they also perform various endodontic surgeries and provide emergency services for traumatic dental injuries when they occur. Some endodontists also handle dental implants. No matter what service they are performing, the main goal of your endodontist is to save your natural teeth whenever possible.

Endodontists are Pain Management Experts

While root canals are infamous for being painful, that’s a thing of the past (or it was performed improperly). Endodontists use specialized techniques to keep their patients comfortable during procedures. Since they have to do every day, all day, they are experts in administering numbing medications – even patients with a history of problems getting and staying numb.

And since they’re experts in diagnosing that mysterious mouth/face/ear/tooth pain, you’ll be much more comfortable after your root canal when the inflammation and infection abate and you start to heal.

Endodontists Have Cutting Edge Technology

The materials and equipment endodontists use to make your procedure more successful and comfortable are specially developed and designed for that purpose. Dental dams – small sheets of plastic or rubber – isolate your damaged tooth and protect the rest of your mouth.

3-D imaging and digital radiographs are used to give your endodontist a clear view of the minutia of your tooth’s anatomy – like your root canals and the inflamed tissue indicating infection. The space inside your root canals is smaller than President Roosevelt’s ear on a dime! Tiny dental microscopes used for operating can be maneuvered through your root canals to thoroughly map the infection and allow your endodontist to treat it correctly.

When Is It Time To See An Endodontist in Little Rock?

As soon as you have tooth pain you should consult your dentist or an endodontist – especially if the pain is stabbing, burning, throbbing, lasts for days at a time, or has been going on for over a week. The sooner you see a professional, the more likely you are to prevent further damage or the loss of your tooth.

Another sign that it’s time to visit your local endodontist in Little Rock is sensitivity to cold or heat. If you avoid ice cream or coffee, or extreme temperature changes leave you clutching your jaw – make an appointment. Sensitivity is often a sign of decay that has eaten away at your tooth’s enamel and left your nerve endings bare.

If you endured facial trauma or were in an accident and now there is swelling around your teeth, gums, or jaw, it would be wise to see the endodontist the same day. If it’s caught early, nerve damage, cracked teeth, and even dislocated tooth can be often be saved! But you have a small window before the damage becomes permanent.

If nervousness or fear is holding you back remember that the sooner you catch a problem, the less intensive the treatment will be. If you’re worried about pain – don’t be. Root canals are seldom painful, and if you experience any discomfort your endodontist should have a pain management plan ready for you post-treatment. Most people are able to return to work or school the same day after a root canal!

If you have any questions or you think you may need to see an endodontist in Little Rock, contact Dr. James A. Penney and make an appointment today.