Endodontics Specialist
When a tooth is damaged or infected and it starts to affect the interior of the tooth, Endodontic treatment is needed. At Atlanta Dentistry by Design, patients throughout the Atlanta, Georgia area can receive the important root canal therapy the need.


by Paul Freeman, DDS

What is Endodontics?

An endodontic treatment saves a severely damaged, cracked, or decayed tooth when the pulp, the soft inner tissue in the tooth’s root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. Often, when treatment is delayed, pain and even a tooth abscess can result. Endodontic treatment is commonly known as a root canal. Endodontists are root canal specialists. They are specially trained dentists who have additional education in the care and treatment of the interior of the tooth. If a root canal is needed, the endodontist will work to improve the patient’s oral health and restore the natural tooth. 

What are trouble symptoms I should look for?

Come into the office if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Tooth or gum pain, discoloration, or prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • A tooth which is tender
  • A tooth abscess
  • Pus in or around the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes under the jaw

Occasionally, an endodontic problem doesn’t present any symptoms. In these cases, an x-ray is often taken to determine if more serious treatment is needed.

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is done to remove the diseased or damaged pulp. Root canal treatment is typically done in one or two visits, depending on the severity of the damage to the tooth. Afterward, the tooth will act like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene, the tooth should recover well.

What happens during the procedure?

After reviewing an x-ray of the tooth, the endodontist will thoroughly examine the patient’s teeth, gums, and supporting bone structure. During a root canal the doctor will:

  • Apply a local anesthetic to the affected tooth and surrounding area
  • Then a small, protective sheet called a “dental dam” is used to isolate the affected tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure
  • An opening is made in the top of the tooth, and the endodontist removes the pulp and nerve. Then the interior will be shaped for filling
  • The root canal is filled a rubber-like biocompatible material
  • A temporary filling is placed in the tooth until the restoration device is ready
  • A dental crown or another restorative device is then placed on top of the tooth to protect and strengthen the tooth
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