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What is an Endodontist?


An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone a minimum of 2 years of postgraduate training beyond dental school. This specialized training allows an endodontist to:

     1)  Deal with disease of the dental pulp and supporting structures; and

     2)  Diagnose facial pain and related problems.

Your general dentist often refers patients for consultation when the diagnoisis is complicated or when treatment is more difficult than normal. Aside from providing treatment, Dr. Pace's role is also that of educator. It is important that patients understand why they require treatment, what the treatment involves, and what they can do to ensure the best possible outcome. Dr. Pace believes that a properly informed patient has the best chance of achieving the optimal result.

What is Endodontics?

In order to understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard tissue called enamel. Enamel is supoorted by an inner layer called dentin, which at its center, is a soft tissue known as the pulp.

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding dentin and enamel during tooth development. The pulp receives its nourishment supply from vessels which enter the end of the root. Although the pulp is important during development of the tooth, in an adult it is not necessary for the function of the tooth. The tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it even after the pulp is removed.

Abscessed tooth
Why would I need Endodontic treatment?


Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation or infection are deep cavities (caries), repeated dental procedures, cracks or chips. Trauma can also cause inflamation and often show up as discoloration of the tooth. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abcess.

Signs and Symptoms

Indications for treatment include prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, and tenderness of the tooth or adjacent gums. Additional symptoms include constant and severe pain and/or pressure, swelling of the gum and/or sensitivity to touch. The tooth may have been abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding gingival tissue and bone. Sometimes there are no symptoms, however your dentist may identify an endodontic concern through x-rays.

How can Endodontic Treatment help me?


Dr. Pace removes the inflammed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Many times treatment can be performed in a single appointment ranging from 30-60 minutes (depending on the number of canals). Once treatment is completed, you will be instructed to return to your dentist for permanent reconstruction. The restoration of the tooth is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth and restores it to function.

What is a Re-treatment?


Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal, or pain continues despite therapy. Infrequently, 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 further endodontic treatment (re-treatment).

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Top 10 dentistry clinics in Wilmington 2017
Debra J. Pace, DMD, PA has been recognized as one of the top Wilmington Dentistry practices.
Silverside Professional Park
1405 Silverside Road •Wilmington, DE 19810
Phone: (302) 529-2500• Fax: (302) 529-2503