Endodontic Treatments

Most people do not understand the treatments and procedures offered by endodontists that differ from your usual dentist.

What is Endodontics?

An endodontist is essentially a root canal specialist that has extra years of training focused on performing more complex dental procedures.

Endodontics, often referred to as the “root canal therapy” branch of dentistry, deals with the inner workings of your teeth. Specifically, it involves the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the pulp, which is the innermost part of a tooth. This vital area houses nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues, and when it becomes infected or damaged, you may require endodontic intervention.

Instead of walking around holding your hand to your face due to toothaches and pains, it is worth speaking to a professional as soon as possible to avoid more severe problems down the track which may end up being more expensive.

What does an endodontist do?

An endodontist specializes in treating problems within teeth, particularly issues affecting the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. They commonly perform root canal treatments, a procedure that involves removing infected or damaged pulp, cleaning the tooth’s interior, and sealing it.

Endodontists are also skilled in surgical procedures like apicoectomies and are experts in managing dental trauma, working to save injured teeth. They excel in diagnosing complex dental issues and offer pain management solutions, all with the goal of preserving your natural teeth and ensuring your oral health.

Dentists often refer patients to endodontists for specialized care when needed.

Here are our top endodontics procedures to help you understand what areas they can assist you in.

Root Canal 

Root canals are treatments to assist in saving your natural tooth despite having a crack, deep cavity or issues with a filling from the past.

Most people ask the first question; Does a root canal hurt?

The answer is that anesthesia is given so the procedure is not painful. The discomfort occurs in the aftercare whereby your mouth will be numb and have slight soreness for a few days whilst it heals. Overall, the pain is minimal, and fixing your inability to eat is probably worth the pain. The appointment will either be a one-off occurrence, or two depending on the tooth condition.

Ways to determine if you need a root canal include having a chipped tooth, sensitivity to hot and cold for an extended time period, swollen gums and pain when chewing. You may also notice decay and discolouration of the gums. Essentially, the root canal treatment removes the infected pulp inside your tooth that is inflamed, then the tooth is cleaned inside, refilled and sealed to protect it. A crown will also allow the tooth to function properly, which is later fitted on. This is the main procedure of Endodontists, and the following treatments stem from root canals.


When a tooth does not heal properly after a dental procedure, you may need a second treatment called retreatment. Reasons for not healing revolve around the delayed placement of the crown, salivary contamination to the inside of your tooth, and narrow or curved canals left untreated in the first procedure.

New problems can also occur such as a broken crown, decay or fractures to the tooth. Retreatment involves removing the restoring materials to reopen the tooth and access the root canal. The filling is removed and canals are cleaned for a new temporary filling, and finally, the new crown is placed on top. The tooth will have to be monitored again until it returns to proper functioning, such as chewing. Narrow or curved canals may need to undertake a separate surgical procedure instead to best tackle that problem.


This endodontic microsurgery involves the root tip, or apex, being removed with infected tissue, and is often performed if a root canal or retreatment results in an infection. To replace this, the end of the root is sealed with a filling. Up to 4 millimeters of the tooth canal is cleaned under microscopic instruments to see the area better, followed by an X-ray before putting the tissue back in place. This is a 30-40 minute procedure and stitches are often removed 2-7 days after the microsurgery. For this more intensive surgery, a professional endodontist such as those from Australian Dental Specialists is necessary.

Why a Dentist Might Refer You to an Endodontist

  1. Complex Cases: When a dental issue is beyond the scope of general dentistry or requires specialized expertise, a referral to an endodontist is made.
  2. Precision: Endodontists have advanced equipment and techniques specifically designed for intricate tooth procedures.
  3. Experience: Endodontists perform these procedures regularly, making them highly skilled in their field.
  4. Saving Teeth: The primary goal of an endodontist is to save your natural teeth whenever possible, which can be crucial for your overall oral health.

What’s the difference between a dentist and an endodontist?

SpecializationGeneral dentistry, broad range of dental proceduresSpecializes in diagnosing and treating issues related to the tooth pulp
Scope of PracticeOffers general oral care, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, and routine checkupsFocuses on complex dental problems affecting the pulp, such as root canal treatments and endodontic surgeries
TrainingGeneral dental education and trainingAdditional specialized training in endodontics
Common ProceduresCleanings, fillings, extractions, preventive careRoot canal treatments, endodontic surgeries, management of dental trauma
Preventive MeasuresProvides guidance on dental hygiene, preventive care, and overall oral healthPrimarily focuses on treating specific dental issues involving the pulp
ReferralsMay refer patients to specialists when necessary, including endodontistsTypically referred to for specialized care by dentists when pulp-related issues arise

Overall, the trend with endodontic procedures is that they are usually more severe than the treatments of a regular dentist. Whether it is a root canal, retreatment or Apicoectomy , it is important to get the treatment specific to your particular dental issue.