What is endodontics?
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.
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. As endodontists our aim is to prevent or heal inflammation of the periodontal structures surrounding the root of the tooth due to disease and infection inside the root canal. If the pulp of the tooth is healthy, inflammation of the surrounding tissues will not occur therefore we try to do everything possible through education and treatment to maintain the health of the pulp. If however the pulp is irreversibly damaged or dead, we remove the tissue and any bacteria present in the root canal so as to prevent or treat inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This procedure is root canal treatment. 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, which 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.
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 restorative dentist. You should contact his office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. THE SUCCESS OF YOUR ENDODONTIC PROCEDURE IS DEPENDENT ON THE TIMELY PLACEMENT OF A RESTORATION AFTER TREATMENT. 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.