Endodontics

Endodontics services offered in West Des Moines, IA

Endodontics addresses the health of your innermost layers of tooth tissue. These advanced treatments are among the services available from Colin Odland, DDS, Ryan Langel, DDS, Jeremy Flinkman, DDS, and the rest of the team at Westgate Dental in West Des Moines, Iowa. If you’d like to explore the latest in endodontic technology, schedule a visit over the phone today, or spend a few moments on the online booking page.

What is endodontics?

Your teeth have multiple layers. The outermost layer is a thin shell of hard tissue called enamel. Just beneath is a thicker layer of hard tissue called dentin. Beneath your dentin is a hollow chamber that holds your pulp, a combination of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. This hollow area extends down into the roots of your teeth. 

Teeth are living structures, and when something goes wrong within your dental pulp, it takes specialized care to correct the problem and restore the tooth. 

What kinds of endodontics treatments are available?

The most common endodontic treatment is a root canal, which treats an infected tooth. A root canal requires a small opening to access the inner chamber of the tooth. All traces of dental pulp are removed before rinsing the cleared tooth chamber. 

A special dental material called gutta percha fills the emptied chamber and canals before a small filling seals the access opening. A custom crown covers and protects the treated tooth, completing the restoration. 

When a previous root canal fails, endodontic retreatment may be necessary. Endodontic surgery is another procedure that can save a damaged tooth by removing a portion of the root.  

Is it possible to repair a cracked tooth?

Like other hard tissues, your teeth are subject to many different types of cracks. Whether or not repair is possible depends on the size, depth, and placement of the crack. 

Small cracks can often be repaired with a dental crown. When a crack extends into the hollow chamber of a tooth, a root canal prevents infection from developing or worsening. Cracks that extend below the gum line usually need to be extracted, and cannot be repaired. The most common endodontic treatment is a root canal, which treats an infected tooth. 

Vertical cracks in the root portion of a tooth require endodontic surgery to achieve the best chance of saving the damaged tooth. 

What are some signs I might need endodontics services?

Knowing what to look for can help you know when to seek care. Some of the signs of an infection within the innermost layers of your tooth include:

  • Severe dental pain
  • Lingering sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Darkened or very red gums
  • Inflamed or swollen gums
  • Pimple-like sore on the gums
  • Cracked or chipped tooth

If you experience these changes, schedule a diagnostic visit at Westgate Dental online or by phone.

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