At Brookline Dental Specialists, our goal is to provide you and your family with comprehensive dental care at a single location. Along with pediatric, orthodontic, and periodontic care, we now offer endodontic care at our conveniently-located Brookline office.
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues related to the internal structures of teeth, primarily tooth pulp. The pulp of a tooth contains nerves, blood vessels, along with other tissue and is located deep inside the tooth.
To become an endodontist, a practitioner must first complete four years of dental school. To specialize in endodontics, they must then complete an additional two years of focused dental training to study the most advances techniques in diagnosing and treating internal tooth pain.
While the primary goal of endodontic treatment is to save the natural tooth, an endodontist is also concerned with relieving tooth pain. The pain caused by issues in the tooth pulp can be extremely painful if not effectively treated.
What procedures does an endodontist perform?
The most common procedure performed by an endodontist is root canal therapy. During a root canal procedure, damaged or infected pulp is removed from the pulp chamber and the root canals using specialized instruments.
Once the tooth has been completely cleared, the chamber and canals are filled with a special material that protects the tooth from re-infection. Often, a tooth on which root canal therapy has been performed is then covered with a crown.
Endodontists are sometimes called “root canal doctors” because of how specialized they are. These specialists are uniquely trained to handle complex cases involving teeth with intricate root canal systems or hard-to-reach areas. Along with root canal therapy, an endodontist might also treat dental abscesses, traumatic dental injuries, place implants, and perform tooth extractions.
What diagnostic tools does an endodontist use?
Because the pulp lies behind the thick enamel outer layer of the tooth, endodontic issues are commonly diagnosed using x-ray technology. At BDS, we use advanced CBCT 3D scanning technology to give our patients the most accurate diagnoses and individualized treatment plans.
CBCT stands for Cone Beam Computed Technology. It is an imaging tool that uses a cone-shaped beam of radiation to capture detailed three-dimensional images. CBCT scans create precise images of the teeth, jawbone, and surround structures.
CBCT scans are non-invasive and typically involve a patient sitting or standing while the scanner rotates around their head. A CBCT scan is a quick procedure that takes just a few minutes to complete.
When used for endodontic treatment, a CBCT scan helps in detecting dental infections and assessing the root canal anatomy for planning root canal treatment. It offers several advantages over traditional x-rays, including the ability to produce 3D images, lower exposure to radiation, and enhanced visualization of tooth structures for more accurate treatment planning.
An operating microscope greatly enhances the endodontist’s ability to view the tiniest details inside your tooth. By magnifying vision up to 25 times that of the naked eye, the dental microscope is useful in both diagnosis and your endodontic treatment. This technology in our practice ensures the highest levels of precision when you are undergoing root canal, and dental surgical procedures.
What are the symptoms of endodontic problems?
While endodontic problems are often first noticed at routine dental checkups, your dentist may recommend endodontic care if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Lingering tooth pain
- Unexplained pain in your mouth or jaw
- Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods
- Inflammation near affected teeth and gums
BDS Endodontist Dr. George Koch
Our endodontic specialist, Dr. George Koch, is a proud graduate of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He received his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Endodontics from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Koch currently serves as a part-time faculty member of both the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.
He is also a member of the American Association of Endodontists, the Massachusetts Association of Endodontists and the American Dental Association.
Dr. Koch believes that root canal treatment should be a quick and pain-free experience. He believes in providing all of his patients with the highest-quality endodontic care possible!