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Colorado Endodontic Specialists, PC

Littleton, CO

What is Endodontics?

We at CES do what our name implies: specialize in endodontics! But unless you have had endodontic treatment before, then we understand there may be unfamiliarity with the field. So, what exactly is endodontics? 

To understand endodontics, it helps to know some tooth anatomy. Teeth have several layers, including bone-like tissue called enamel on the outside and its supportive tissue called dentin on the inside. At the very center of the tooth is the pulp, and it contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that help form the surrounding dentin and enamel during development. The pulp receives nourishment from vessels which enter at the end of the root, and although it is important during teeth development, the pulp is not necessary for the function of the tooth. The pulp is the key player in endodontic treatment. 

Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic treatment is commonly known as "root canal therapy." This treatment involves removing dying or infected pulp tissue inside a tooth. The procedure helps alleviate pain and prevent infection from futher growing or spreading. The tooth will continue to be nourished by surrounding tissues even after the pulp is removed. After the treatment, a crown or other restoration is necessary to protect and restore the tooth to its full function. 

Root canal therapy is usually recommended to save a tooth that would otherwise be extracted. If endodontic problems are detected and treated early, healing is faster. In more serious cases, endodontic treatment may be uncomfortable, and it is recommended that a patient take antibiotics to calm symptoms before continuing with the treatment. 

An endodontist, such as Dr. Mac, is a dentist who has had 2-3 additional years of advanced specialty education after dental school in diagnosis and root canal treatment. They specialize in endodontic treatment because they typically practice surgical or root canal treatment exclusively. They use their special training and experience to help diagnose and treat more difficult cases, such as abscessed teeth, narrow or calcified canals, or unusual anatomy. Endodontists may also use specialized technology, such as microscopes or digital imaging, to help in treatment.

For a more visual representation of root canal therapy, click here to watch a video provided by the American Association of Endodontics. If you are interested in understanding more about root canals or what you need to do to prepare for treatment, feel free to contact our office. 


While a root canal is nonsurgical treatment, there is an alternative procedure to save the tooth. This procedure is called an apicoectomy, which involves removing the tip of the tooth's root. This is an option when a previoius root canal has failed. 

An apicoectomy is a microsurgical treatment. Dr. Mac will make a small incision on the gums to gain access to the tooth. He will remove the root tip, clean any infection, and fill the space with bone graft and other materials to help the tooth heal and bone regenerate. Besides potential tenderness after treatment, the tooth is fully functional, and we will make follow-up appointments, one at 2 weeks and another at 6 months, to ensure healing. 

For another visual representation of an apicoectomy, click here.

Extractions and Implants

Endodontic procedures are usually the last options for saving the natural tooth. However, there are circumstances, such as root fractures, in which the tooth may need to be extracted or removed. A patient may wish to replace the space with a single-tooth implant. This process involves placing an implant where the tooth would normally be, providing a space for a crown to be fitted and giving the look of a natural tooth. Dr. Mac is able to work with those who need either of these procedures.