Endodontic FAQ

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 endodontics 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 sent to co-therapists via e-mail or diskette. For more information contact Kodak Carestream Dental, 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, we will send a record of your treatment to your general dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion of treatment at our office. Meanwhile, to prevent fracture, avoid eating on the treated tooth until it is restored. Your dentist will consult with you about 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.
 

Will I need a check-up appointment?

Yes. You will be invited to return to our office for periodic examinations to ensure complete healing of your tooth.
 

What new technologies are being used?

Our office employs the most advanced technologies in endodontic care to ensure patient comfort and the best results.

  • Digital Radiography:  All intraoral radiographs are taken with digital sensors that provide instant viewing on our operatory computer monitors. Digital radiography significantly reduces radiation levels compared to film-based dental x-rays.
  • Operating Microscopes:  In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes during all phases of your endodontic treatment. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a tiny video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.
  • Focused Field – Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT):  The KODAK 9000 3D Extraoral Imaging System provides very detailed three-dimensional digital radiographs of the jaws to image areas of interest with greatly reduced radiation. This extraoral imaging system is an aid in the diagnosis and treatment of complex endodontic cases and surgical endodontic cases.
  • Electronic Medical Record KeepingAll of your endodontic treatment records and radiographs are kept in our secure computer system for instant retrieval and remote consultation.