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Endodontics in dentistry refers to the treatments that work on the center of the tooth, the pulp. The pulp consists of connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. An infection is likely when a tooth is compromised by a deep cavity, fissures, a crack, or dental injury, allowing bacteria normally present in the mouth to reach the pulp. Dr. Lovelace is pleased to provide highly skilled endodontic services for his patients. Here are some of the problems that we commonly see and treat.

Cracked Tooth

Your dentist can often time successfully repair a cracked tooth; the location and the extent of the damage caused by the crack is the determining factor in how the tooth will be treated. The sooner the cracked tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once the tooth is repaired, it will function as it did before the crack occurred.

Symptoms of a cracked tooth vary and include intermittent pain with chewing, especially when releasing pressure from a bite, or sensitivity when exposed to temperature changes when eating. It is possible to have a cracked tooth without any symptoms. If this is the case, it can be tempting to put off getting the cracked tooth repaired, but it is much better to fix the tooth before further damage is done and it is no longer salvageable. Cracks extending below the gum line are no longer eligible for treatment and must be extracted.

Unlike a bone, teeth do not heal back together. Crowns are placed over the cracked tooth to give it extra strength, but sometimes the dentist can build up a filling to repair the crack. The dentist will do X-rays and a dental exam to determine the appropriate treatment.

Not all cracked teeth are preventable, but there are some things you can do to help avoid future cracks. Avoid chewing hard foods like popcorn kernels or hard candies and please, never chew on ice. Grinding teeth can cause a fracture; if you grind your teeth in your sleep, speak with the dentist about getting a retainer or a mouth guard to protect them.

Root Canal

Root Canals are one of the most common endodontic treatments; they are typically done to salvage a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted due to root infection. A root canal is the standard treatment when the pulp or the surrounding canal becomes inflamed or infected.

Inflammation and infection left untreated cause significant pain, abscess, and ultimately tooth loss. Signs and symptoms that indicate an infection in the pulp include tooth discoloration, sensitivity, throbbing pain that may come and go, gum swelling, or tenderness deep in the bone. Any of these symptoms alone or together need to be fully assessed by a dentist as soon as possible so they can perform the appropriate treatment before the infection progresses and causes more damage.

Root canals are done with anesthesia to ensure the patient does not feel any discomfort during the treatment. The dread over the thought of a root canal is often more significant than the actual procedure. The dentist will only proceed with the root canal treatment once they have adequately numbed the patient to ensure no discomfort is experienced.

Root canals consist of the dentist carefully removing the affected pulp and meticulously cleaning the root canals before sealing them off. Once this portion of the root canal is completed, the dentist will send an impression of the tooth to the lab for the creation of a crown to cover and protect the treated tooth.

As with all dental conditions, early intervention is key to increasing the success of root canal treatment. Call for an appointment as soon as symptoms are experienced to limit damage to the tooth and restore your oral health. You only get one set of permanent teeth; let's work together to save them!


A Pulpotomy is a procedure that removes the upper portion of the pulp that is located in the crown area of the tooth and is removed by the dentist. In this treatment, the pulp below the exposed surface in the root canals is left intact because the infection has not yet reached the root. Children are the most likely candidates for this procedure; it is performed mainly on primary teeth with extensive decay that has reached the pulp.

Inflammation of the pulp is known as pulpitis, and a pulpotomy is the best course of action to save the tooth. Primary teeth are worth saving because they perform the critical function of maintaining a space for permanent teeth to come. Tooth decay that has reached the pulp and physical trauma to the tooth are the most frequent causes of pulpitis. Left untreated, pulpitis can spread down to the root section of the tooth below the gum line. Once the pulpitis spreads to the root, the tooth is no longer eligible for a pulpotomy and may require a root canal to avoid tooth loss.

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4220 Valley Ridge Blvd Suite 101, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
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