Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic (root canal) procedures. To become specialists they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training. They study advanced root canal techniques and procedures including endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that is difficult to diagnose.
A root canal is a medical procedure for treating a tooth with an inflamed or infected pulp. The pulp in a tooth can develop this condition for a variety of reasons. Tooth decay, repeated dental procedures, cracks, chips, or even a blow to the tooth are all things that can cause the pulp to become inflamed and infected. If a tooth in this condition is left untreated, it can cause pain. An abscess can develop (see picture to the right).
Symptoms of pulp damage can include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, pain on biting, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
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