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What is an Endodontist and what do they do?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.  Like many medical terms, it's Greek.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat without the extensive training with microscpoic endodontic therapy.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.

What Happens During Endodontic Treatment? or What is a Root Canal?

A local anesthetic will be given.  A sheet of latex called the "rubber dam" (we've got nonlatex ones too) will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment.  The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case.  Some treatments take 2 visits but many are just a single visit.  Occasionally 3 appointments are needed.

In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty.  To me, it's more important to do it the very best we can then to meet a specific time criteria. 

You can learn more at www.aae.org 

Diagnoses and Treats Pain
Oral pain such as toothaches or cracked / fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint.  Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain.
Treats Traumatic Injuries
Pulp damage is sometimes caused by a blow to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, a blow to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A procedure called apexification stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. An endodontist is specially trained in procedures for replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.
Will I need to return to your office for Additional Visits?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 - 12 months.  This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly.  Since an abscess may take 2 years to heal, our office will reevaluate the tooth for at least 2 years.

Retreatment

Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.  You can learn more at www.aae.org 

 
endodontics
Patient Testimonials

I needed a root canal and had been suffering for a week when referred to Dr. Penn. Her and her staff agreed to stay that very day and squeeze me in! I was so grateful to be without pain! I did need to make a return visit for Dr. Penn to complete the procedure, but it was well worth it!! I brought them flowers the next day and I was sent a thank you note for that jesture. Also received a thank you from everyone about being a good patient. I had never been treated so nicely before!!

Debbie Joseph

Dr. Penn and her staff provided a wonderful time for what is ultimately a nerve racking procedure. I can compliment the reception and support staff to no end. As for the procedure itself, things were fast and gentle. You're in good hands here.

Marcus H.

I was referred here by my dentist for a root canal. I came twice, 2 weeks apart to complete it, and each time EVERYONE was very friendly, and willing to help in any way. Dr Penn made sure that I was comfortable, (as you can be in this situation), and checked on me several times throughout each procedure. They called me the following day after each procedure to see how I was doing. They even sent me a Thank you card, signed by everyone in the office. Thumbs Up!

Christine Middleton

It was great! Staffs are very professional. It was a myth that root canal is painful but not at all, if your doctor is Dr Penn.

B L

I went to Dr Penn having no idea what issues would be found as I was not in any pain. From the consultation to the final follow up of having stitches removed, I cannot say enough about how caring,, compassionate, friendly and truly the best Dr Penn, Jada, Taylor, Jessica and Donna are! I ended up Having a root canal which I was a bit scared about and they made me feel so relaxed and so at ease, I felt no pain. I also required oral surgery and they squeezed me in the same day. Again, no discomfort at all during or after. I cannot recommend this office enough! I am sorry I am moving away. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me and I would definitely recommend this office 100%

Jennifer

1140 Second Street
Suite B
Brentwood, CA 94513

Phone:
925-240-8111
Fax:
925-240-5227