While your teeth may appear to be simple structures that allow you to chew food and start the digestion process, they are complex, with different layers of material that carry out specific functions. While all dentists are skilled in caring for teeth, less than 3% have the qualifications to be an endodontist. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about the differences between a dentist and an endodontist in Jacksonville, and how they work together to ensure you the best oral health possible.
What is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who has received at least two additional years of specialized training in treating the different facets of the tooth. To get an idea of why such a specialization is necessary, let’s take a brief glance at some of the different parts of the tooth’s anatomy:
- The outer layer is called the enamel, and it has the job of protecting the more sensitive parts that lie beneath it.
- Beneath the enamel is the dentin, a yellowish layer where the first nerve activity is found.
- The next layer is the pulp, which is the most sensitive part of the tooth where the nerve and canals are housed. This is also the area where the blood vessels are located, which provide the nutrients needed to keep the tooth healthy.
A trained endodontist will have the expertise to deal with the complexities of every aspect of the tooth’s structure to aid in maintaining or restoring its health.
How a Dentist and an Endodontist Work Together
While a dentist provides comprehensive care, there are certain situations where the expertise of an endodontist is better-suited. An example is with advanced decay that has entered the pulp area of the tooth.
When this happens, a simple filling won’t suffice to restore it. Thus, a dentist may refer the patient to an endodontist who can perform a root canal procedure.
What’s Involved with a Root Canal?
While many general dentists perform root canal therapy, an endodontist is more qualified to deliver the care needed. A surgical procedure, a root canal involves the following steps:
- Capturing of X-rays to identify the bacteria-infested area
- Application of local anesthesia
- Initial incision to gain access to the pulp area
- Removal of the decayed tissue
- Addition of a compound called gutta-percha
- Sealing of the tooth
- Capturing of bite impressions
- Final placement of the crown restoration
The Benefits of Working with Both Professionals
Having access to both a dentist and an endodontist offers several benefits. For starters, you’re likely to experience a more comfortable treatment process. You can also rest assured that if there are any complications, a trained endodontist is better-equipped to make the necessary adjustments.
A final perk is that an endodontist will typically have access to the latest technologies to ensure the most effective treatment possible.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and suspect you need root canal therapy in Jacksonville, then reach out to your local dentist to schedule a visit. If it’s determined you need a more complex form of care, you can then work with an in-office endodontist so your oral health can be restored.
About the Author
A dentist, Dr. Jignesh Patel works in conjunction with the in-office endodontist, Dr. Andrew Calhoun, to provide comprehensive care that meets all their patients’ needs under one roof. For more information about how they help to restore your tooth health, you can visit their website.