Technology is constantly advancing, affecting our lives in a variety of ways. This is also true in the field of dentistry and dental specialties like endodontics. Today’s technology is advancing modern endodontics and saving people’s teeth in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago.
What does this mean for you? How will technology influence your dental health? Find out about the technological advancements that are revolutionizing endodontics.
Endodontics is a specialty within the field of dentistry. The focus of endodontics is the inside of the tooth, primarily the dental pulp that is the life force that sustains the health of a tooth. Each tooth has a soft center made up of blood vessels, nerves, and tissue, contained within the root canal. The dental pulp is susceptible to infection if bacteria invades the tooth, typically through a deep cavity, a crack in the enamel, or a damaged root.
An endodontist primarily treats infected teeth or performs procedures to prevent infection in an at-risk tooth. Endodontic procedures sometimes focus on the roots of the teeth to repair damage that allows infection to develop. The most common endodontic procedure is a root canal. Although many general dentists also perform root canals, endodontists have specialized equipment and expertise to handle complex root canals effectively, as well as other endodontic procedures.
Recent Technological Advancements in Endodontics
The following technological advancements have improved endodontic services:
- Cone Beam Scanners. Cone Beam Scanners create 3D images of the teeth and mouth, which offer more accurate diagnostics and aid in the planning of procedures.
- Dental Lasers. Laser dentistry is less invasive, minimizes bleeding and discomfort, and accelerates healing after endodontic procedures.
- Endodontic Microscopes. Endodontic microscopes allow endodontists to see all aspects of complex root canal systems in teeth, increasing the success of root canal procedures and reducing the need for endodontic retreatment.
- Digital Imaging. Digital X-rays use a fraction of the radiation of traditional film X-rays, making them safer by reducing the patient’s exposure to radiation. Digital images are also clearer for more accurate diagnostics and procedures.
- Electronic Apex Locator. The apex of a tooth is the bottom tip of the root, which can be difficult to locate because it is under the gums. But an electronic apex locator allows endodontists to see exactly where the tip of the root is for more thorough root canal procedures.
- Piezo Electric Handpieces. These handpieces are designed to be more gentle and less invasive when removing bacteria and infected tissue.
- Gentle Wave. Using sonic energy to clean root canal system more efficiently and effectively with minimal root structure removal so that patients feel less post op sensitivity when compared to traditional RCT.
Improving the Patient Experience
All of the above technologies are designed to improve the patient experience when receiving endodontic treatment. Through less invasive measures and gentle operation of dental tools, patients experience less discomfort and faster recovery. Procedures are also more likely to be successful the first time, providing long lasting solutions to endodontic problems. The chances that teeth can be saved are greatly increased with the use of technology.
Advanced Endodontics is Committed to Technology
Our commitment to technology is just one of the many ways we strive to improve the patient experience. We make it our goal to provide an advanced level of care, which is the source of our practice name, Advanced Endodontics. By keeping up to date with current technology and best practices in the field of endodontics, we offer our patients the best chance of saving their teeth and keeping them healthy for life.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. Referrals are not necessary for new patients.
Endodontic treatment is the general term for procedures used to treat a tooth from the inside out. A tooth that is infected, at risk of infection, or otherwise compromised on the inside may be able to be saved with root canal therapy or other endodontic procedures.
If you’ve been referred to an endodontist, you may be wondering what to expect from your treatment and recovery. Here’s an overview of the typical process.
What is Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic treatment is a blanket term used to refer to procedures affecting the dental pulp. Dental pulp is the soft tissue at the center of each tooth. It is primarily made up of blood vessels and nerves that help the tooth develop. Once the tooth is fully developed and in place the dental pulp is no longer needed, however, it is susceptible to infection. A tooth that is infected or at risk for infection may be in need of endodontic treatment. There are other conditions affecting teeth that may need other types of endodontic treatment.
Types of Endodontic Procedures
We provide the following endodontic services:
- Non-surgical root canal therapy. The dental pulp is removed from the tooth and replaced with a filling material.
- Non-surgical root canal retreatment. A tooth may need a repeat root canal for a variety of reasons.
- Apicoectomy (endodontic surgery). The root of the tooth is treated below the gums.
- Internal resorption. Treatment to stop a tooth from breaking down from the inside.
- External resorption. Treatment to stop a tooth from deteriorating from the outside.
- Single tooth internal bleaching. A tooth can become discolored due to infection or injury. Internal bleaching can remove the discoloration, making the tooth look white again.
- Apexification. Apexification is used to treat an underdeveloped tooth in children.
- Apexogenesis. Apexogenesis is used when the roots of a tooth are underdeveloped, encouraging them to grow and develop properly.
- Laser endodontics. The use of dental lasers in endodontic procedures makes them less invasive and accelerates recovery.
- Gentle Wave. The use of sonic energy to facilitate in removing the nerve effectively and efficiently while minimizing tooth structure loss and post op sensitivity.
Is Endodontic Treatment Painful?
Most endodontic procedures can be performed using local anesthesia to numb the area of the mouth that is being treated. This way the patient feels no discomfort while the procedure is taking place. Sedation options are available as needed to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable.
When dental lasers are used for endodontic treatment vibrations are minimized and tissue is naturally cauterized as it goes. This reduces overall discomfort and in many cases less anesthesia is needed. Recovery is much faster after the procedure as well.
When Gentle Wave is used for endodontic treatment, the root canal size is dramatically reduced to improve the tissue removal in this closed irrigation system. This means less post op sensitivity.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Most patients experience very little discomfort following most endodontic procedures. In the case of surgical endodontics, because tissue must be disturbed, some swelling and inflammation may occur afterwards that is easily managed with over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medication.
If you experience any severe discomfort or pain that does not respond to over the counter medication, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional treatment or medication as needed.
When it comes to follow up care, you may need to eat a liquid or soft diet for the first 24-48 hours following your endodontic procedure, reintroducing more solid foods as you feel comfortable. Avoid hot beverages and allow food to cool sufficiently before eating.
Why Choose Advanced Endodontics?
At Advanced Endodontics we strive to provide you with the most comfortable experience possible. We want to change the way you and everyone views endodontics, dispelling the misconceptions surrounding root canals. Endodontic treatment is a positive experience that can put an end to your pain and save your teeth, allowing you to keep your natural teeth in place for the rest of your life.