When it comes to preserving your natural teeth, endodontics has plenty of ways to help. Dr. Burks has been practicing endodontics in Winter Springs, FL, since 1980. As a family dentist, Dr. Burks is experienced in treating all types of oral health concerns for patients of all ages. It is our goal to make sure you and your family members maintain the best possible oral health. Whether you need dental implants, a crown, or Invisalign, Dr. Burks has a treatment option available to you. One type of specialty that Dr. Robert Burks dentistry practices is endodontics.

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy - procedures that deal with tissues and structures involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.

Dr. Burks can perform common endodontic treatments for his Winter Springs patients such as a root canal. He also can treat cases of dental trauma, perform microsurgery on the tips of the tooth's roots, and even figure out what's going on when tooth pain seems to come and go intermittently, or when the pain isn't localized at one tooth.

Understanding The Inside Of Your Healthy Tooth

Inside of a healthy tooth

To understand endodontics, you must understand what’s on the inside of your teeth. Dentin is a substance made of many tiny tubules which transmit sensations to nerve cells when stimulated makes up the bulk of your tooth’s structure. It is found behind the cementum that forms that outer layer of the tooth’s roots.

The soft pulp tissue is found inside tiny branching chambers called root canals at the core of the tooth. This consists of nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels which extend into the center of the tooth and exit through canals near the tip of the tooth's roots. When infection and inflammation develop in the pulp tissue, your first indication of trouble might be mild to intense tooth pain. In time, as the nerves die, the pain may go away, but the problem doesn’t. An untreated infection may result in the loss of your tooth.

Causes Of Root Canal Problems

Root canal treatment.
Root canal therapy is one of the most common endodontic treatments. The therapy is effective at reducing the pain caused by a bacterial infection deep within the tooth’s pulp. Root canal not only stops the pain, it also stops the infection by getting rid of dead and dying tissue from the tooth’s pulp. Plus, it helps to save the tooth, which could be lost if not treated.

There are a few things that can cause the pulp tissue to become infected and lead to root canal problems, including:

  • Untreated tooth decay, which can allow bacteria from the tooth's surface to work its way deep inside.
  • A crack or fracture in your tooth could allow microorganisms to infect the pulp.
  • Dental trauma from a sports injury or accident could damage dentin or pulp, or expose it to infection.
  • Having extensive dental procedures on the same tooth, like multiple fillings or restorations, may cause trouble.
  • Sometimes, even routine procedures like orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems.

Endodontic Treatment Process

While root canals sometimes get a bad rap for being incredibly painful, this isn't the case when Dr. Burks performs a root canal. With effective local anesthetics, a typical root canal procedure doesn't cause any more discomfort than having a filling. Here's how it works:

  1. Dr. Burks will apply a numbing gel to the gum area around the infected tooth.
  2. After the gum is numbed, Dr. Burks will give you a shot of anesthesia to completely put your gum and surrounding areas asleep.
  3. A small opening is made in the tooth surface to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals.
  4. Tiny instruments are used — often with the aid of a microscope — to remove dead and dying tissue from inside the narrow passages.
  5. The passages are cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a safe, inert material.
  6. The opening in the tooth is sealed to prevent contamination.

Other endodontic treatments may be recommended for removing sources of infection and preventing future problems. After you have a root canal, usually you will have a crown placed on the tooth to restore it to its full function and pleasant appearance. After that, with proper care, the restored tooth should last for many years.

Call Dr. Burks Today!

If you find yourself with tooth pain, swollen gums, and difficulty chewing, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Robert Burks family dentistry at (407) 327-2030 and schedule the first available appointment at our Winter Springs, FL, office. Our staff is ready and waiting to serve you with a smile. With an exam and X-rays, Dr. Burks can determine the source of your tooth pain and arrange a treatment plan that will relieve your pain and salvage your tooth.