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Craig Johnson D.D.S.

PORTLAND, Oregon •  • West Linn, Oregon

 

General Information

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy. Endodontic procedures involve the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "dont" meaning tooth.  Although all dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

After 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 th most 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 is given.  The treatment consists of three or four basic steps (access, cleaning and filling), and the number of visits will depend on your particular case.  Most treatments are completed in a single visit, although some may take to and, rarely, three depending on the degree of infection/inflammation.

 

Root canal or endodontic therapy has a very high degree of success (up to 90%). We will discuss with you probable outcomes to ensure an informed decision.

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.  You will be sent a notice in the mail when we feel it is appropriate to reevaluate the area.  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.