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(661) 324-7668
1900 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield,CA

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What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists are specialists who limit their practice to endodontics (root canal therapy, surgical and non-surgical) - a branch of dentistry dealing with the soft inner tissue of teeth (called the pulp, which contains the nerve and blood vessels) and their surrounding structures.

The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. Like many medical terms, it's Greek. All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. In addition to dental school, endodontists undergo two or more years of postgraduate specialty training in the field of endodontics.

Endodontists perform the routine as well as highly complex root canal treatments such as retreatments, removing previously broken instruments or posts, treatment of the medically complex patients and surgical procedures. Because endodontists limit their practice to practicing endodontics, the office design and equipment is specialized for just root canal treatments. Because of this, and the varying complexity of root canal treatments, many dentists like to refer certain root canal treatments to our office.

Although most of our patients are referred to us from the local dental community, we do accept self-referred new patients or walk-ins.

What is Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the research and treatment of blood vessels, nerve and tissues inside the roots of a tooth, in an effort to relieve pain, swelling and infection inside the tooth and in the tissues surrounding the tooth.

When you look at one of your teeth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. The outer layer of the root is made up of a hard tissue substance called dentin, and the inside of the root is called the "root canal" which contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves.

Bacteria can enter the "root canal" as a result of tooth decay, tooth fracture, gum disease or other problems, and severely damage the nerve. When this happens, the dentist/ endodontist removes the diseased pulp (which contains the infected and inflamed nerve) to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation, in the tooth and the surrounding jaw bone.

Endodontic treatment is a process that incorporates medicinal chemicals to clean the inner structure of a tooth and a physical cleansing technique to maintain the function and health of the tooth and bone supporting and surrounding it. Once the nerve in a tooth has been affected, the only way to treat the tooth is to "remove the nerve" from within the root canal area of the tooth, thereby saving the tooth, or by removing the tooth completely (i.e. extracting the tooth).