Why Might My Dentist Refer Me to an Endodontist?
An endodontist may be someone you think you will never visit. You are used to going to the general dentist every six months. At these important appointments, you will get an examination, X-rays, cleaning and polishing, and diagnoses of any problems. Your dentist can handle many of your oral health issues. Still, there may be occasions when your dentist may recommend that you go to a professional who focuses on endodontics. It is helpful to be aware of conditions and situations where you will need to go to someone who has more dental education and hands-on work.
What the general dentist does
A dentist is concerned with a patient’s general oral well-being. This professional will counsel patients on good oral hygiene. At semiannual appointments, the dentist will make sure the staff cleans the patient’s teeth thoroughly. They will also inspect the person’s teeth for tartar, plaque and cavities. Dentists can diagnose cavities and gum disease and will treat these conditions. Dentists can also identify concerns such as oral cancer and infections.
The dentist can repair mild or moderate cavities by cleaning out the affected tooth and sealing it with a filling. For larger cavities, however, a filling is not sufficient to protect the tooth. In this case, the dentist will refer the person to an endodontist. This dentist has the knowledge and training to perform a root canal. Without timely intervention, the dentist may have to extract the tooth. The endodontic dentist can salvage it by repairing the cavity and preserving the integrity of the tooth.
This scenario also requires a root canal, so the general dentist will recommend further help with the procedure. Here, pockets of pus form in different parts of the tooth due to infection. Patients who develop these infections and put off treatment are at risk for more serious complications, even death. The endodontic dentist will open up the tooth and drain the infection and will then perform a root canal. Removing the pulp here is critical, as the infection could be prevalent in this area. In more serious cases, the dentist may have to pull the affected tooth.
The endodontist can identify sources of pain
Patients who have a toothache may complain to the general dentist. If X-rays and other tests do not reveal why the pain is persistent, the dentist may refer the patient to the endodontic professional. This dentist may see issues the general dentist missed. The endodontic dentist may prescribe medication or recommend other treatments.
Help is always available
Whether you need a routine wellness checkup or more serious dental help, you can find the resources you need. Your dentist may take on the work alone. Or, the dentist may enlist others to assist in the diagnosis and care. Call your dentist today if you have excessive toothaches or believe you have an infection in your tooth. The sooner you book an appointment, the better chance you will have of finding relief, saving your tooth and preserving your smile.
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