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?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, whenever possible, we use an advanced non-film 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. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to cotherapists via e-mail. For more information contact Schick Technologies, 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 referring dentist. You should contact your dentist 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 only a phone call away.
What new technologies are being used?
Magnification and illumination:
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special high powered loupes, operating microscopes, and intense illumination. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth.
Zeiss optics and the operating microscope:
Whenever indicated, we employ the soft tissue diode laser for bacterial reduction, biostimulation, removal of diseased tissue and some surgical procedures. The benefits of laser treatment can include shortened healing time and increased patient comfort.
Pupal regeneration is a procedure used to encourage root growth and development in an immature tooth with an unhealthy pulp. The diseased pulp is removed and medications are placed inside the tooth to stimulate formation of new, living replacement tissue. This procedure may save a child’s tooth that is too undeveloped for conventional root canal therapy or apexification.