Endodontics involves treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, all 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 can return to normal for years to come.
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 the low-dose, conventional dental x-ray machinery. Digital x-rays can be optimized, archived, printed and shared easily with your dentist, speeding up your path to recovery.
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.
When your root-canal therapy is completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his office 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 available at all times to respond.
In addition to digital radiography, we are now using state-of-the art operating microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a mini-video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.
A root canal is not painful, it relieves pain. With our state-of-the-art equipment, you will have very little discomfort. The feeling is similar to getting a filling replaced.
There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root-canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. This common misconception was long-ago debunked based on poorly designed research done nearly a century ago. A root canal allows patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime — the alternative, extraction and an implant cost much more.
Saving your natural teeth, when possible, is always the very best option. Root canals have a high success rate and many root-canal teeth can last a lifetime. A root canal is much expensive than an extraction.