Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Should I be worried about x-rays?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic 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.

What about infection control?

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. Our treatment rooms are equipped with the most current technology to also eliminate any risks. Our sterilization equipment is carefully monitored for 100% effectiveness. We will do everything possible to provide you with the highest quality of care while maximizing your protection.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

The goal of endodontics is to relieve pain caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern anesthetic techniques, the majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may be sensitive or sore, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. In the majority of cases, over-the-counter pain relievers are used for this discomfort, but your doctor may prescribe additional medications for you.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a treatment report including digital images will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact your restorative dentist for a permanent 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.

What new technologies are being used?

Operating microscopes: Magnification and fiberoptic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth.

Digital Radiography: All radiographs in our office are taken with digital sensors. The acquired image is then sent to a special computer and can be instantly viewed on monitors in each treatment room. These images require up to 90% less radiation than conventional low dose x-ray films. All images are stored in your “digital chart” for easy access and communication with your restorative dentist.

Apex Locators: We utilize advanced electronic root-length measuring technology to ensure accuracy of instrumentation. These devices work by calculating resistance of tooth structure to provide a visual and audible signal indicating root length.

Ultrasonics: These advanced devices vibrate small instruments to help remove posts and other canal obstructions, as well as aid in the search for calcified canals.

Nickel-Titanium Instrumentation: The cleaning and shaping of the root canal is aided by the use of metal instruments made of a unique alloy of nickel-titanium. We use both hand and rotary instruments along with a liquid antimicrobial agent to help remove bacteria and tissue.

Disclaimer Notice This website is provided for information and educational purposes only. A doctor/patient relationship has not been established by your use of this site. A diagnosis or treatment has not been provided by this site. The information provided on this site should be used along with your consultations with your endodontist. There are no guarantees or warrantees regarding the information proficed on this website. This website is not intended to offer specific medical, dental, or surgical advice to anyone.