If you are experiencing pain in one or more teeth and have been referred to our endodontist at Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC by a dentist or a friend, perhaps you’re wondering what it means to specialize in this field of oral health. We like to think of ourselves as members of a uniquely qualified and relatively small group of specialists who are specially trained to not only get to the root of our patients’ discomfort, but to save their irreplaceable natural teeth whenever possible.
You might find it enlightening to learn that only three percent of all practicing dentists are endodontists. We carry this rarefied title thanks to an additional two or more years of training beyond standard dental school. The extra training and experience focuses on diagnosing and treating pain that’s occurring in the interior of the tooth. In fact, the roots of the word endodontist come from the Greek language, roughly translating to “inside the tooth.” We possess the highly specialized skills required to perform the complex treatments that provide pain relief.
Our knowledge of the anatomy of the tooth allows us to spot inflammation and infection deep inside the tooth — below the protective white enamel and the hard layer of dentin — in the soft tissue known as the pulp. This area is quite sensitive but is no longer necessary to the tooth once it has reached maturity.
Our most common treatment for conditions affecting the pulp, the root canal, is a procedure that thanks to advances in technology and anesthesia has become no more uncomfortable than having a filling put in by your dentist. And it offers a bonus: in many cases saving that natural tooth instead of opting for an artificial replacement.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, have suffered an injury or have noticed a sensitivity to hot or cold food or beverages, please contact our endodontist at Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC for an appointment.
By Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC
January 24, 2023