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, 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 emailed to your dentist.
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 general dentist. You should contact his/her office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your general 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?
We utilize special operating microscopes from Zeiss and Leica. Magnification and LED illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a digital SLR camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.
Carestream 9000 and 8100 3D Imaging System (CBCT) and Carestream Digital Radiography
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), along with the Carestream RVG Digital Radiography System, which has one of the highest resolution digital imaging sensors on the market, allow the doctors to make diagnoses quickly and confidently. Patient care is taken to a whole new level, and best of all, with decreased radiation exposure. In seconds after capture, our patients can view their images on a LED flat screen monitor or large computer monitors. Images can also easily be shared with referring doctors and insurance companies.