The vast majority of endodontic treatment is carried out by General Dental Practitioners. In certain circumstances, your regular dentist may not feel confident that he or she will be able to carry out the treatment successfully. Common reasons for this are repeating treatment that has not been successful, the complex anatomy of molar (back) teeth, and narrow root canals. Endodontic specialists are qualified dentists who have had extensive training in treatment of these more difficult problems.
I'm worried about x-rays. Should I be?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 80 percent lower than those of already low-dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent 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 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 the dentist who referred you. You should contact your dentist's practice for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your own dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth; frequently it is recommended that teeth be crowned in order to protect them from fracture.
It is unusual for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are always available.
What new technologies are being used?
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the dentist to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a small video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctors findings, and a digital stills camera will allow other records to be kept.
Successful endodontic treatment requires careful measurement of the length of the root canals to be treated. An Apex locator can be used to determine the length of the root and therefore reduce the number of x-rays during treatment.
Our operatories are equipped with sophisticated ultrasonic units which are used to remove posts and metal instruments, as well as aid in the search for calcified canals. These units are also used to prepare the root-end for a retrograde filling in cases when microsurgical intervention is indicated. The diamond coated microscopic tips vibrate at a frequency above the audible range of perception (18,000 to 40,000 cycles per second) to insure accurate and speedy preparation.