What is Endondontics?
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.
What about infection control?
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 endodontic treatment has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist, including xrays and written information pertinent to your specific tooth. You should contact his or 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.
What new technologies are being used?
Operating Microscopes: We utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and powerful fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding us to see tiny details inside your tooth.
Electronic Apex Locators: These are special devices that help to accurately measure the length of the root and can sometimes minimize the number of radiographs taken during the procedure.
Ultrasonics: We use specialized, diamond-coated, high powered instruments that are used to remove posts with minimal loss of tooth structure. They are also used in endodontic surgery to keep the procedure minimally invasive.
Digital Radiography: We use digital radiography, which uses 90% less radiation than conventional film technology, and allows us to see the results in seconds (making your treatment more efficient).