Endodontics is a specialty field in dentistry. When you come in for your appointment, you may hear some terms that are unfamiliar, strange, or downright intimidating. To make matters worse, at one point the terms used in diagnosis were often different depending on where an endodontist got her education. Within the past decade, the American Association of Endodontics (AAE) standardized terminology, making it possible for everyone in the industry to understand a diagnosis and determine a proper course of action.
But what about the rest of the world? As a layperson, you probably dont need to know extremely complex terms, but having an idea of what common terms mean can help you to understand your situation and what your treatment plan will be. Weve compiled a few of the most important terms for you to know so that youll feel confident during your visit to NYC Endo.
Endodontics: The branch of dentistry dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of the interior of the tooth, including the pulp and related structures.
Endodontist: A dental specialist with 2-3 years of training in the field of endodontics, skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of cases in this field.
Board-Certified: Having passed an examination by the American Board of Endodontics to certify that the practitioner is fully capable of working in this field.
Dental Pulp: The inner tissues of the tooth, filled with blood vessels and nerves. This tissue is surrounded by dentin and enamel.
Dentin: The middle layer of the tooth which surrounds the pulp, helping to form the pulp chamber and root canal. Forms most of the crown and root of the tooth and give it its distinctive shape.
Enamel: The hard protective outer layer of the tooth. This is the hardest substance in the body, making it suitable for the high-pressure tasks of cutting and chewing food.
Crown: The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel; the part visible above a healthy gum line.
Gingiva: The dense fibrous tissue and mucous membrane that covers the necks and roots of teeth and the jaw bone; gum tissue.
Pulpitis: A diagnosis of damaged pulp. Some pulpitis can be reversible, or healed. In other cases, it is a fatal diagnosis for the pulp, leading to the need for root canal therapy.
Abscess: An inflammatory reaction to pulpitis and necrosis characterized by pus formation, swelling, extreme sensitivity, pain, and rapid onset.