One of the most prevalent dental problems that we all face is disease and infection. In fact, over 90% of adults in the UK suffer from some form of gum disease, varying in how severe the problem may be. That’s why the job of an endodontist is so important for dental care in the UK. But what is an endodontist? And how does their role differ from what we know as a standard dentist?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what endodontics is and why it’s so important you visit an endodontist dentist if you’re experiencing the most severe signs and symptoms of gum disease.
We specialise in our own endodontist treatments here at the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry. We’re even home to one of the best endodontists in London, so get in touch today if you have any questions for our endodontics team.
Endodontist Definition: What is an endodontist?
Firstly, let’s outline the definition of an ‘endodontist’ to make things a little clearer.
Endodontics is a branch of dental care that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of teeth pain, disease and infection. This specialist area of expertise typically involves treating the ‘dental pulp’ – the softer inner tissue that’s found inside of the tooth. Hence why it’s termed endodontics, deriving from the Greek words for endo (‘inside’) and ondont (‘tooth’).
So what is an endodontist? An endodontist is a dentistry professional who has gone through extra training to specialize in specifically dealing with endodontic problems. Their role is to treat all types of issues that arise with dental pulp, quite literally treating the root of the problem for patients suffering from severe and painful signs of tooth damage or gum disease.
Is there a difference between an endodontist and a dentist?
So what is the difference between an endodontist dentist and a typical dentist?
Well, endodontists are essentially specialised dentists who have expertise in the area of endodontics. General dentists might carry out endodontic treatments and procedures, but endodontist dentists are experts who have years of experience and training behind them. They’re often thought of as the dental masters of pain management and ‘saving teeth’.
What does an endodontist do?
So what does an endodontist dentist do? What type of treatments do they carry out? Well, an endodontist helps treat endodontic conditions with a range of procedures including:
Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is a type of endodontics surgery that treats an infected root canal by removing the inflamed dental pulp inside of the infected tooth. It’s a common misconception that root canal treatment is an extremely painful procedure, but rest assured that the treatment is actually relatively quick and pain-free. You’ll usually be put under local anaesthesia.
Endodontics surgery (apicoectomy)
Endodontics surgery (most commonly known as apicoectomy) is the option endodontists are forced to take if root canal treatment is not sufficient enough to treat the inflamed tooth. As a result, it’s usually carried out by an emergency endodontist. The procedure involves removing the infected dental pulp right down to the bone and sealing the area with a suitable filling.
In addition to issues relating to gum disease and tooth decay, endodontists also specialise in:
- Treating fractures to the tooth.
- Treating traumatic damage to the tooth.
- Re-treating damaged old canals or old dental crowns.
Why is an endodontist’s job so important?
With endodontists carrying out a range of endodontic surgeries, it’s clear how integral their role is within the UK’s dental care system, both in the private sector and in the NHS. So why should you never shy away from booking an appointment to see your endodontist dentist?
Well, as we’ve already mentioned, gum disease affects the vast majority of us no matter how small or large the problem may seem. There are three types of gum disease you need to be aware of:
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is caused by the excessive buildup of plaque around your teeth. Thankfully you should be able to reverse the onset of gingivitis at home by brushing properly and regularly visiting a dentist for a dental clean. The main symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Bleeding when flossing or brushing.
- Red and swollen gums.
- Regular bad breath.
The next stage after gingivitis is called periodontics and this is when the inflammation spreads into the bones that hold your teeth together. Your gums will start to retreat and the plaque will harden into tartar too, resulting in even more pain and irritation. The main symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Receding gums.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Wobbly or loosened teeth.
- A bad metallic-like taste in your mouth.
- Gum abscesses (caused by gum pockets that trap and collect plaque).
Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG)
Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (commonly known as ANUG) is a type of gum disease caused by a serious bacterial infection. ANUG usually develops rapidly and suddenly. It’s vital you see an endodontist right away if you notice a combination of the following ANUG symptoms:
- Extremely painful bleeding gum ulcers.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Excessive saliva.
- A high temperature.
In addition to these impacts on your oral health, gum disease is also heavily linked to major health problems in areas of the body other than the mouth, including:
- Strokes and heart disease.
- Pregnancy problems
According to the NHS, only 1 in 6 people are aware that gum disease increases your risk of stroke and diabetes. So now you know the full scope of how gum disease can impact your health, it’s down to you to do all you can to minimise your own risks. Maintaining good oral health and seeing an endodontist whenever you need to is the first line of defence.
We have a team of specialist endodontists
Dr Leondasrd Fox is our very own specialist endodontist, in fact, he’s one of the very best endodontists in London. He’s highly experienced in root canal treatment with over 20,000 surgical procedures under his belt.
The root canal treatments we offer here at The London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry include a bespoke plan that ensures your full comfort and great results.
Check out our full endodontics for more information on the treatments we can provide.
Please feel free to give us a call on 020 7722 1235 or visit our website for more information.