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 that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can 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 continues to perform normally.
I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?
While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery.
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 prevent infection and cross-contamination.
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 or her office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. We recommend waiting no longer than 4-6 weeks after your root canal treatment has been completed. 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. However, if a problem does occur, please call our office.
What new technologies are being used?
Digital Radiography, Cone-beam CT, and Operating Microscopes:
In addition to digital radiography and cone-beam CT imaging, we use operating microscopes for all procedures. We believe in providing our patients with excellent care and to do that we need excellent, modern equipment. All of these technologies used in our office help us do our best work possible for our patients and increase the chances of success by allowing us to see the details around and inside a tooth.