Experiencing tooth pain? In need of a root canal? You may want to consider exploring endodontics. Endodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the soft inner tissue of the teeth, which is often referred to as the pulp. 

Most people don’t ever have to see an endodontist, unless they have a pretty severe root canal. However, they do more than just treat root canals. Ever had a toothache that just won’t go away? Your general dentist may end up referring you to an endodontist. 

Endodontics is a special field of dentistry that can significantly help someone who is in pain. If you’re curious about endodontics or if you have questions about what an endodontist does then you may find this to be a helpful read. We discuss what you need to know about this field of dentistry! Read on to find out more. 

What Exactly is Involved in Endodontics?

The field of endodontics is essentially the study of the root or pulp of a tooth. When someone has a toothache, and the general dentist can’t find the source, they will refer the person to an endodontist because they have undergone an additional 2 years of specialized training..  

Studying, diagnosing, and treating pain within the teeth is the primary focus of endodontics. Endodontists seek to  improve techniques that are used in pain management procedures such as root canals.

What to Expect During Endodontic Treatment

The most common  endodontic treatment is a root canal because it directly involves the root of a person’s tooth. Knowing what to expect from a root canal can be helpful. Historically, people have said that root canals are extremely painful but as time has passed, the technology has improved which has allowed for less pain to be felt. Read more to find out what to expect from a root canal and other endodontic treatments. 

Each person’s endodontic treatment will vary based on their pain or inflammation but typically, a similar process is followed. 

  1. A local anesthetic is administered which ensures that pain isn’t felt. 
  2. Isolation of the tooth will take place through a latex sheet. This ensures that the tooth remains clean and dry during the procedure. 
  3. The infected portion of the tooth will be removed through laser treatment or a drill. 
  4. An endodontist will clean out the interior portion of the tooth, removing any leftover debris. 
  5. The tooth will then be filled and sealed off with a dental crown, thus preventing any further damage. 

The process of endodontic treatment may not be completed within one visit. Often times, the endodontist recommends multiple appointments so that pain is minimal. However, depending on the severity, the root canal therapy may be able to be completed in one appointment. It all depends on each person’s situation. 

Ultimately, it is best to consult with a dentist who has experience with endodontics, specifically root canals. They can evaluate you to determine what your treatment process may look like. 

What a Dentist Can do

Dentists undergo extensive training in order to best prepare themselves for anything urgent. Toothaches and pains tend to be emergent which can easily be addressed by a general dentist. 

Endodontics is a field that all dentists get trained in so that they can perform root canals and other necessary therapy to relieve a person of any pain or discomfort that they are experiencing. Root canals are often necessary for endodontic therapy because they clean out the pulp as well as prevent any further damage. 

Dentists can provide their patients with necessary pain management tools so that during therapy, they can find relief. Root canals are said to be pain-inducing but with the help of pain management from a dentist, endodontic therapy may be easier to get through. 

After Endodontic Therapy

Traditionally, a lot of people are under the impression that root canals are extremely painful and unbearable but that is far from the truth. While you may experience some sensitivity or inflammation, that doesn’t necessarily mean pain. Thankfully, modern improvements in pain management have made dentistry and endodontic therapy much more comfortable. Plus, most dentists specialize in pain management – they want their patients to be comfortable! 

Again, a lot of people are different, meaning they will likely react differently to the aftercare process, but for the most part you can expect a much more comfortable experience than even 10 years ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

Endodontics is a field of dentistry that doesn’t get discussed a lot which means there tend to be a lot of questions. Below, are some of the most common ones!

  • What causes toothaches? Toothaches tend to occur because the interior portions of a tooth are infected. Infections occur due to bacteria build ups or lack of oral hygiene. An endodontist can easily reduce your toothache or at least manage it so that it is bearable. 
  • Can a general dentist perform endodontic treatment? Yes, but not as advanced. General dentists undergo some training in endodontics but it is always best to see a specialist because they study endodontics more in depth. 
  • Do root canals hurt? Yes and no. After a root canal procedure is over, there may be slight discomfort but thankfully, the technology has improved which allows for less invasive methods of treatment. And, pain management has increased significantly.
  • How can my pain be managed? Pain can be managed through the use of oral medications as well as numbing agents. 
  • Can I be sedated for a root canal? Yes! And, it is actually recommended. There are numerous forms of sedation including light, moderate, and extensive. 

Contact our Office Today!

Are you in need of endodontic therapy? If your toothaches are unbearable then it may be time to schedule an appointment with a specialist. Our office full of dentists can help you explore endodontic therapy so that your pain is reduced and manageable. Give us a call or stop by, we are here to help you in any way that we can.  


Dr. Selim is a certified general dentist who studied at Cairo University, where he was also certified as an endodontist. He completed his AEGD (Advanced Education in General Dentistry) residency in Maryland and today, he practices general dentistry in order to keep his patients healthy and happy! Aside from dentistry, Dr. Selim also focuses on overall health to help improve everyone’s well-being.