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, such as Dr. Marmo, removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.
Will I feel discomfort during or after the procedure?
The goal of endodontics is to relieve discomfort caused by pulpal 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 discomfort or infection before the procedure. In the majority of cases, over-the-counter analgesics are used for this discomfort, but your doctor may prescribe additional medications for you
Should I be worried about x-rays?
No. We use digital radiography, an advanced computerized system that produces radiation levels 90 percent lower than conventional dental x-rays. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to your general dentist via e-mail or CD.
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 root canal treatment?
When your root canal therapy therapy has been completed, a treatment report including digital images will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact your general 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. We will contact you 3 to 6 months after treatment for a follow-up exam and digital image to monitor your healing.
What new technologies are being used?
Cone beam computed tomography or CBCT imaging offers a large volume of information and subtle details that cannot be obtained from a two dimensional x-ray.
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes during your treatment. This technology allows the endodontist to magnify and illuminate deep into the root canals of a tooth, often visualizing the source of infection. The operating microscope can also be used to record images of your tooth and communicate additional information to your general dentist.
A biocompatible material used for pulp capping, resorption repairs, perforation repairs, apexification, and root end filling during surgical treatment.
Ultrasonic instruments are used in conjunction with the microscope to selectively remove tooth structure or bypass obstructions within the root canal system.