How do I know if I’m a candidate for root canal therapy?

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Specialist Endodontist
Endodontic Care
BDS (Otago), DClinDent (Otago)

General dentists and specialists all agree on the reasons why it’s so important to save patients’ own teeth whenever possible, even when they’re badly broken down. Dr Artika Soma sheds some light on the sorts of considerations that come into play when it comes to root canal therapy.

What exactly does endodontics entail?

Endodontists are root canal specialists. Endodontists focus on the treatment of the tooth pulp, which is the living cells and tissues inside your tooth. We also deal with the tissues surrounding the tooth root. Endodontists can often save teeth that have been deemed hopeless by other practitioners.

How does a patient know if they’re a candidate for root canal therapy?

The first matter that needs to be addressed is whether the tooth is worth saving or whether it can be saved. Endodontists are the ideal dental specialists with the qualifications and experience to discuss the relevant factors with you.

And what might the treatment involve?

Endodontists can rotate teeth, they can retreat a failed root canal treatment, repair internal perforations, remove posts, separated instruments and carry out minor root surgeries.

How many Endodontic specialists consult at Smile Solutions? 

We have three specialist Endodontists here, and all of us have extended careers that support our specialist practice. In my case, I have lectured and tutored in Endodontics to undergraduate university students in New Zealand and Australia. Another colleague, Dr Chankrit Sathorn, is a published author of important Endodontic research, and has two PhDs in this field. And the third, Dr Greg Tilley from Collins Street Specialist Centre, is involved in the specialist endodontist training program at the University of Melbourne and consults on an international committee for the development of endodontic instruments and materials.

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