What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a specialty of Dentistry that deals with diseases of the dental pulp and its supporting structures. Endodontists are Dentists with special post-graduate training in this field. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
Although General Dentists can perform Endodontic treatment, patients are often referred to an Endodontist when the case is complicated or more difficult than usual.
In order to understand Endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called Enamel. Enamel is supported by an inner layer called Dentin, which has at its center a soft tissue known as the Pulp.
The Pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding Dentin and Enamel during tooth development. The Pulp receives its nourishment supply from vessels which enter the end of the root. Although the Pulp is important during development of the tooth, it is not necessary for the function of the tooth. The tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it even after the Pulp is removed.
What is an Endodontist and what do they do?
An Endodontist is a dentist who has undergone a minimum of 2 years of extra postgraduate training. This Specialist training allows an Endodontist to:
- Deal with diseases of the dental pulp and supporting structures
- Diagnose facial pain and related problems.
Your general dentist sometimes refers patients for consultation when the diagnosis is complicated or when treatment is more difficult than normal. Aside from providing treatment, Dr. Dholakiya believes in patient education. It is important that patients understand why they require treatment, what treatment involves and what they can do to ensure the best possible outcome.
In our office, Dr. Dholakyia deeply believes that a properly informed patient has the best chance of achieving the optimal treatment result.
Why do I need a root canal?
Infection of the pulp (an abscess) can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, or repeated dental procedures. Swelling of the gums is often associated with an infected tooth. An injured or inflamed nerve will often cause temperature sensitivity, bite sensitivity, or even spontaneous pain.
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 co-therapists via e-mail or diskette.
What about Infection?
Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to and exceed 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 treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You will need to 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.
What new technologies are being used?
Operating Microscopes: 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.
Digtal X-rays: While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced computerized system, called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 80-90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to other healthcare practitioners via e-mail or disk.