What is endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association that involves 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.
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, 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 doctors.
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. 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.
How much does it cost?
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodntic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.
What new technologies are being used?
Please refer to Advanced Technology.
What should I expect after my endodontic treatment?
Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. Included in your treatment is a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the first check-up visit. Please call for an appointment during the following month.
Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, Dr. Your Last Name(s) or your restorative dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your restorative dentist and endodontist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.
Are there any potential problems after surgical treatment?
Lower teeth and nerve injury.
There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth. Dr. Your Last Name(s) is trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Your endodontist is trained to design your surgery to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
Upper teeth and sinus communication.
The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.
Post-operative infections occasionally occur. This usually requires just an office visit and examination. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.
If you have any questions, please call our office at +30 210 9681161