Endodontics – Root Canal Therapy VS Tooth Replacement
“General dentists and general 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. So I’ve come to Smile Solutions today to talk to Dr Artika Soma and Dr Gregory Tilley about the sort of considerations that come into play.
Interviewer: Hello Artika, thank you for taking time out today.
Dr Artika Soma: You’re welcome Christine.
Interviewer: Now, I believe you’re an Endontonist. What does that entail?
Dr Artika Soma: It means I’m a root canal specialist. 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.
Interviewer: How does a patient know if they are candidate for root canal therapy?
Dr Artika Soma: Well, 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.
Interviewer: And what might the treatment involve?
Dr Artika Soma: Well, Endodontists can root treat teeth, they can repeat previous, failed root canal treatment, repair internal perforations, remove post separated instruments and carry out root surgeries.
Interviewer: So tell me, how many Endodontic specialists consult at Smile Solutions?
Dr Artika Soma: We have three specialist Endodontists here, and all of us have extended careers, which 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 Gregory Tilley, 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.
Interviewer: Well I’m privileged to have met you today Artika, and I look forward to meeting Dr Tilley to find out even more about Endodontics.
Dr Artika Soma: You’re welcome Christine.
Interviewer: Good afternoon Greg. I’ve just been hearing about your distinguished career in Endodontics.
Dr Gregory Tilley: Good afternoon Christine.
Interviewer: So tell me, what qualifications and skills do you need to become an Endodontist?
Dr Gregory Tilley: Well following a five year basic dental degree, there’s a minimum of two years’ practice, followed by a three year post graduate program. At the end of that time, the candidates are eligible to registered as a practicing specialist in Endodontics. So as well as a passion in Endodontics, and the science and art of Endodontics, you also need a passion and empathy for the patient because it can be a pain-staking procedure. Finally, all Endodontists need to be registered with the Dental Board of Australia as specialists in their field. Their names can be found on the Register, and anybody in Australia can check that Register to make sure that their particular Endodontist is in fact a registered specialist.
Interviewer: That’s three good reasons to be treated by a specialist rather than a general dentist for any root canal therapy.
Dr Gregory Tilley: Exactly.
Interviewer: And judging by the calibre of the Smile Solutions Endodontic Team, your patients are very fortunate.
Dr Gregory Tilley: Yes that’s right. Having three Endodontists here means that the general dentists can refer their patients directly to the specialists without any delay. In many cases, they’re in severe pain, and the ability to treat them on the day is paramount.
And at Smile Solutions, we have registered specialists in all fields of dentistry practicing under the one roof. So our patients are referred seamlessly from one specialist to another. It may be that following Endodontic treatment, they can be referred directly to a Prosthodontist, and then maybe even see an Orthodontist. So that’s both effective and efficient, as well as convenient and reassuring.
Interviewer: Well thank you for taking time to speak to me today.
Dr Gregory Tilley: It’s been my pleasure, Christine.”