Endodontic / Root Canal Treatment 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, a Root Canal Specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful root canal 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 root canal 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 your general dental center via e-mail, follow-up letter or diskette. For more information on digital x-rays contact Schick Technologies, Inc.
What about infection?
Many patients enter our office with a dental abscess, but the root canal therapy that your receive from Dr. Benjamin Webber, Dr. Theodore Y. Tutwiler or Dr. Branimir Lackovic, will rid your body of the source of the infection that is inside of your tooth. The dental care that you receive at our dental clinic will help you to get better quickly.
There’s no need for concern for infection after your root canal treatment. 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 has been completed, a record of your root canal treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact your General Dental Center 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, although, often a crown is needed. It is rare for root canal therapy patients to experience complications after routine root canal treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, our dental clinic is available at all times to respond.
How long after Treatment will my Root Canal Therapy Last?
Root canal therapy has been reported to be up to 95% successful. Many factors influence the treatment outcome: the patient’s general health, bone support around the tooth, strength of the tooth including possible fracture lines, new cavity, shape and condition of the root and nerve canal(s) and continued follow-up care with your general dentist. Although we cannot guarantee the successful outcome of root canal procedures, you can be assured that the most advanced techniques and treatment modalities will be performed to ensure the best prognosis possible. Our office sees a much higher success rate than the national average.
What new technologies are being used?
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. 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.
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