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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 first went here back in December (I think?) for a root canal treatment. Due to my pregnancy, I was unable to get the procedure done. Nonetheless, the staff worked with me and called to check in on me every couple months. Finally after I had my baby, they booked my root canal treatment the following week after I called them. I have never had a root canal so I had a lot of anxiety about it. However, Dr. Penn and her staff made me feel so comfortable. I'm sorry I'm forgetting the dental assistants name (I think that's the job title?), but she was great. Very personable. The front staff was also very warm and welcoming. The root canal treatment went very well. The same day I wasn't in pain. It is now day 3 after the treatment and I'm feeling great! Thank you Dr. Penn and staff 10/10

Sierra

Nobody likes going to the dentist but I have to say my visit with Dr. Penn and staff was one of the better visits to the dentist. From the time I arrived the staff made me feel so welcome and were very professional. I was in pain and required surgery for a tooth infection. The surgery went very well. The surgery required stitches and I was a little sore from the shots. The best part was after leaving Dr. Penn's office the pain was gone. I didn't even require any pain meds and was back to eating normally the next day. So to Dr. Penn and staff,thank you so much. Joseph Nelson

Joseph Nelson

From the moment you enter the office, you are made to feel like you are family. The way you are treated by everyone is over and above what one should expect, and every step of the process is explained in detail. I also appreciate the follow-up calls. Dr. Penn and her staff are the best.

Rick Gorin

I was referred to Dr. Penn after needing a root canal ASAP. I was fit in the schedule right away and was extremely nervous w/ it being my 1st root canal. Dr. Penn and her staff were amazing!! Everyone was so incredibly helpful, patient and very detailed when it came to explaining the costs, procedure and care after. I truly felt like everyone cared and wanted me to go home comfortable. During the whole procedure they would periodically stop to give me a break and see if I was okay. After all was done Dr. Penn again made sure to check if I was okay and advised me to take the NSAIDS they provided so I would have no pain when I got home. They provided a yummy drink to help my stomach tolerate the meds. I was checked on a day later and advised to follow the instructions given to me for a specific amount of days to avoid any pain. I had a tiny amount of pain the next day which was predicted but otherwise nothing. I highly recommend Dr. Penn and her staff if you enjoy great and professional service.

Nicole W

I went into see dr. Penn in regards to my tooth hurting badly. She let me knowni needed to get a root canal, so i proceeded to get it done, and honestly her staff as well as herself were so amazing, made me feel comfortable, and i actually almost fell asleep during my rootcanal, did not hurt what so ever. She even made sure the tooth was fully covered before sending me out back to my original dentsit so i can get my crown on. I have to say this has been the best experience i have had in the densitry world. Such amazing group of people and i would definitely refer them to any1 that has dental issues.

Ashley Trapozzano

1140 Second Street
Suite B
Brentwood, CA 94513

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