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Sawyer Endodontics

Covington, LA

Allen N. Sawyer, D.M.D.

 

 
What is an Endodontist?

An endodontist specializes 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. 

Following dental school, endodotists 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.

Diagnoses and Treats Pain

Causes of 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.

 

What Happens During Endodontic Treatment?

 

 A local anesthetic will be given to thoroughly numb your tooth.  A sheet of non-latex called a "rubber dam" will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment.  The infected or inflamed tissue is then removed and a filling material is placed into the canals. The number of visits will depend on your particular case. Most treatments take two visits, but some are just a single visit. Occasionally, three or visits are needed.

Root canal treatment or endodontic therapy has a very high degree of success. We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision.

For the first few days after treatment, there may be some sensitivity to biting pressure, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Sometimes, over-the-counter anti-inflamatory medications live Advil are recommended for a day or two.  Dr. Sawyer can prescribe other medications if they are required.

 

Once my treatment is complete, will I need to return to your office for additional visits?

When your endodontic therapy is complete, Dr. Sawyer will explain whether of not your tooth will need additional treatment at your general dentist's office.

We would like to see you in our office one year after completion of the root canal treatment to ensure that the tooth is healing properly.  There will be no charge for this follow up visit, and you will be contacted when we feel it is appropriate to check the area.

 

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.