Endodontic 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, an endodontic specialist, such as Dr. Griffin or Dr. Willison, removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

DO I NEED A ROOT CANAL?

You always have options when it comes to anything in dentistry, although in some cases your options may be limited. If your dentist has recommended a root canal, it is likely due to an infection, inflammation, cavities, or to better support a needed crown or bridge. In all of these cases there are three broad options to choose from: Do not receive treatment, save the tooth through endodontic and restorative dentistry, or extract the tooth. In general, saving the tooth by having a root canal is better than the alternative options, but discussing these options with your dentist and endodontist is of paramount importance prior to making your decision.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

As with any medical or dental procedure there is an expected recovery time with mild to moderate soreness after the procedure. Endodontic procedures are similar. You can expect some soreness after the procedure, which typically can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Endodontics of the Rockies staff is happy to guide you through the healing process.

I’m worried about x-rays…

X-rays will be necessary during your endodontic visit to aid the doctor in diagnosis and treatment and to help file insurance claims. We utilise digital radiography which has a significantly less radiation dose compared to traditional X-Rays. 

What happens after root canal treatment?

When your root canal treatment has been completed, a record of your visit will be sent to your dentist. Typically, your dentist will contact you within a week to schedule an appointment for the final filling or crown. You should be scheduled with your dentist no later than 30 days from the time endodontic treatment is completed. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.  Mild to moderate discomfort after a root canal procedure is expected during the first week following treatment. Our team is here to help you through the healing process. 

new technologies Being Used

Radiography

Digital Radiography

Digital Radiography is an electronic form of X-Rays. Using computer software, these images can be manipulated to achieve optimal diagnostic value. These type of dental imaging of teeth and bone. The images are stored and manipulated for optimal diagnostic value.

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Operating Microscope:

We utilize surgical operating microscopes. These microscopes provide high magnification and fiber optic illumination which reveal the details inside your tooth. Such modern techniques increase success rates and patient comfort. 

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3D Cone Beam Imaging

A dental CT scan allows your doctor to see your tooth at every angle, including inside. Each tooth is unique and a dental CT reveals the entire anatomy and ensures complete treatment. The doctors at Endodontics of the Rockies have  been trained to view dental CT images and personally interpret each one.

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Apex Locators

During your root canal you will hear some soft beeping from an instrument called an apex locator. This is a digital devise that is used to determine the length of your canals. With an accuracy of more than 96% this device allows our doctors to thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire root. 

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Ultrasonics

This advanced device is capable of aiding in retreatments that require the removal of metal instruments, such as posts, in the canal system. Ultrasonics make it possible for our doctors to identify calcified canals and assist in preserving the natural tooth.