Endodontics is usually recommended when the inner portion of a tooths nerve is infected by decay or the nerve is somehow otherwise damaged. Normally, the pulp is protected by intact enamel but infection can spread into the pulp when decay moves through the enamel and dentin, or when the hard layers or fillings crack and expose the soft tissue. An infection can also spread when a tooth is dislodged or damaged by trauma. If an infection remains untreated, it can progress through the tooth’s roots and into the supporting bone, causing a painful abscess.
The usual purpose of endodontics is to remove the infected pulp (or damaged nerve), sterilize the tooth’s roots and seal the area to protect it from future infections. Even when all of a tooth’s pulp must be removed, the tooth can remain alive indefinitely, nourished by nearby tissues.
Endodontic treatment can allow you to retain your natural tooth for an extended period of time, if not a lifetime.
MICROSCOPIC ENDODONTIC SERVICES
The most ideal endodontic outcomes often require the clinician to see into the canal so it can be adequately cleaned and filled. At our office, we use a state-of-the-art operating microscope to give Dr. Krishan a very accurate view of the tooth, and allow him to treat the tooth quickly and comfortably with the highest possible success rate.
The introduction of the surgical operating microscope (SOM) to endodontics has dramatically changed the practice of the specialty. The degree of magnification depends upon the combination of lenses that are utilized. Most microscopes come with three to five steps of magnification ranging from 3x to 27x. The light source is usually a 100 to 150 watt halogen bulb that is connected to the microscope via a high efficiency fiber optic cable.
What happens during the Root Canal Treatment?
The visit starts with an examination, including X-rays, to evaluate the tooth for possible treatment. Electrical impulses may be used to test the tooth for sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure and to measure the pulp chamber and root canal system.
If endodontic treatment is recommended, a local anesthetic will be applied and the tooth will be isolated with a rubber dam.
Treatment consists of the use of ultrasonic instruments and highly-refined files are used to remove the infected pulp and thoroughly cleanse and shape the pulp chamber. Medication may further sterilize the root canals. If there is an abscess, antibiotics may be prescribed.
If more than one treatment is needed, an antibacterial medication and temporary filling will be placed in the pulp chamber. When all signs of infection are gone, the root canal will be lined with cement and filled and sealed with a soft, pliable material called gutta percha, which conforms to the space and prevents bacteria from entering. The patient’s general dentist then completes the permanent restoration of the tooth, usually with a crown.
What factors determine the cost of root canal therapy?
The fees for root canal therapy often depend on several factors. These include whether it is an initial root canal treatment or retreatment (redoing of a previously performed root canal), the number of roots involved, and the location and position of the tooth. You will be given an estimate prior to any work being started.