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What is Endodontics?
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 pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.  Like many medical terms, it's Greek.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to Dr. McKee, an endodontic specialist for his knowledge and expertise.


In addition to four years of dental school, Dr. McKee received two more years of advanced education at the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Dr. Syngcuk Kim, known worldwide for his advancements in endodontic microscopy, pulpal biology, and microcirculation.  Here he studied root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases.  Dr. McKee has performed thousands of endodontic procedures, gaining valuable experience in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.  For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients Dr. McKee for their endodontic needs. 

What Happens During Endodontic Treatment? What is a Root Canal?

A local anesthetic will be given.  A sheet of latex called the "rubber dam" (we have nonlatex ones too) 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.  In my opinion, it's more important to do it the very best, then to meet a specific time criteria.  Let's look at the basic steps for nonsurgical endodontic therapy.

There are, of course, no guarantees.  Root canal or endodontic therapy 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 or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful or fails you still have options.

We Diagnose and Treat 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. As an endodontist, Dr. McKee is a specialist in diagnosing and treating this type of pain.  Prior to every treatment, Dr. McKee performs a comprehensive examination to ensure that root canal treatment is your best option.

We Treat Traumatic Injuries

Pulp damage is sometimes caused by a blow to the mouth, and the endodontist specializes in treating these traumatic injuries. For example, a blow 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.


Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy 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.  Dr. McKee performs a comprehensive evlauation before a root canal is reatreated.


Will I need to return to your office for Additional Visits?

Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 - 12 months.  This allows Dr. McKee to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly. 

Belmar Endodontics • Dr. Michael B. McKee 550 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Suite 160, Lakewood, Colorado 80226
Phone: 303-922-ENDO (3636) • Fax: 303-922-0026
Endodontist Dr. Mckee of Michael B. McKee DDS, PC provides endodontic procedures including Root Canal Therapy, Endodontic Retreatment, Apicoectomy, Cracked Teeth and Traumantic Injuries.
Serving The Following Cities:
Belmar Colorado • Lakewood Colorado • Denver Colorado • Littleton Colorado • Wheat Ridge Colorado • Arvada Colorado • Westminster Colorado • Aurora Colorado • Golden Colorado • Evergreen Colorado• Summit County Colorado