What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria can be introduced into the pulp from a direct result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture. This bacteria can cause an infection and severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth will continues to function normally.
I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic diagnosis and treatment, we use an advanced computerized system, called digital radiography. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to cotherapists via e-mail or diskette. For more information contact Carestream, Inc.
What about infection?
Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.
What happens after treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.
What new technologies are being used?
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize:
- Microscope — Innovative technology to visualize the tooth
- IntraOral Camera — to locate possible fractures and canals
- Fiber Optic Illumination — to locate calcified and difficult canals
- Electronic Apex Locators — for superior accuracy
- Nickel Titanium Rotary Instruments — to reduce operating time
- UltraSonic Instrumentation– To clean and prepare prior to root canal filling