What is an Endodontist?

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy -- procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the dental pulp. The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. That is why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In addition to dental school, Dr. McNamara received three more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to Endodontists.


What Happens During Root Canal (Endodontic) Treatment? A local anesthetic will be given. A "rubber dam" will be placed around the tooth to isolate it, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment. The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case. Some treatments take 2 visits but many are just a single visit. Occasionally 3 appointments are needed.

In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty. It is more important to do it the very best we can then to meet a specific time criteria.

There are, of course, no guarantees. Root canal treatment has a very high degree of success, up to 90%. We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. If a root canal procedure is unsuccessful or fails you still have options.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Pain Oral pain such as toothaches or cracked / fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint. Because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth, the pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth and/or in the head, neck, or ear. An endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain.

Treatment of Traumatic Injuries Pulp damage is sometimes caused by trauma to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, trauma to a child's permanent tooth that is not fully developed can cause the root to stop growing. A procedure called apexification stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root, which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure. An endodontist is specially trained in procedures for replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets.

Will I need to return to your office for additional visits? We recommend patients return to our office 6 months and 1 year after root canal treatment is complete. This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly. You will receive a reminder notice from our office when you are due for a post-operative evaluation.

Retreatment Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite treatment. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal treatment but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.

Get in touch!

Call us at 425.898.4604

About us

Our expert team, led by respected endodontic specialist Dr. Ryan McNamara, will ensure that you receive the highest standard of care. Our practice is outfitted with state of the art equipment including dental surgical microscopes and digital radiography. We are committed to exceeding your expectations.

Our address

Endodontic Center of Redmond
15965 NE 85th St., Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052