What is endodontics?

Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with treating the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is needed when the dental pulp (the soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or infected. This inflammation or infection can results from such things as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a problem with a crown on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

Learn more on endodontic treatments and procedures, through the American Association of Endodontists >>

What should I expect at my visit?

If your doctor recommends that you receive an endodontic procedure, you can expect your full treatment to take place over the course of multiple visits, including both the root canal and the final restoration. We perform every procedure with the leading technology, using a microscope every time to ensure the most precise results.

What kind of treatments are offered?

Since the birth of the specialty, Penn Dental Medicine has been a leader in the field of endodontics, and its current endodontic clinic is one of the most high-tech clinical settings for endodontic instruction and patient care. The services offered in the clinic include:

  • Diagnosis
  • Root Canal Treatment
  • Endodontic Retreatment
  • Endodontic Surgery
  • Traumatic Dental Injuries
  • Vital Pulp Therapy
  • Regenerative Pulp Therapy
  • Non-vital Tooth Bleaching
Who performs these services?

At Penn Dental Medicine, all of our services are provided by predoctoral or postdoctoral students in our program. These student doctors are overseen by faculty from our school every step of the way, ensuring the highest quality service for our patients.

What do you offer for pain management?

During endodontic procedures, localized anesthetics are used to ensure your comfort. You may have some sensitivity for the first few days after treatment, particularly if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This sensitivity can usually be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications, however, in some cases, your endodontist may prescribe a pain reliever. Your treated tooth may feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after treatment. However, if you experience pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, call your endodontist.

Learn more on endodontic treatments and procedures, through the American Association of Endodontists >>

What do I need to know when I go home?

After a root canal, it is normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open during treatment. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond well to over-the-counter pain medications.

When you leave your appointment, your doctor will provide instructions for care following your endodontic procedure, including:

  • Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off; this will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
  • Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as normal.
  • If your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.
  • Contact your endodontist right away if you develop visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth; an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction); a return of original symptoms; or you have the sensation of an uneven bite.

Learn more on endodontic treatments and procedures, through the American Association of Endodontists >>

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